Vail Daily letter: Observe trail etiquette | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Observe trail etiquette

As a grandmother who has been hiking Colorado’s trails for 45 years, I now feel the need to speak out about the declining level of courtesy I have experienced lately while hiking with my grandkids. Unfortunately, I have observed in recent years that more and more trail bikers are completely unaware of prescribed trail etiquette. Many of these bikers obviously are visitors or short-term residents who have come from locations where they didn’t grow up hiking so they are unaware of the “rules” of the trail. Most experienced hikers know that hikers and bikers must yield to horseback riders, but bikers must also yield to hikers. Finally, hikers going downhill should yield to uphill hikers.

For the past few summers, I have felt accosted by rude and dangerous bikers who think they own the trails and come barreling downhill with no regard for hikers on the trail. These bikers expect the hikers to jump out of their way because they are “king of the mountain” in their own minds. While most hikers are willing to step off the trail for a biker if they are able to, hikers don’t expect to be run off the trail and they certainly expect a “thank you” from the bikers when they do yield the trail.

I am sad to see newcomers to Colorado bringing their bad manners here instead of adopting the Colorado spirit of courtesy on both the trails and the roads. What makes our state a great place to reside is the natural beauty we enjoy plus the friendly and courteous attitude that used to be a hallmark of Colorado. Let’s not allow newcomers to take that spirit from us.

Lindsay Hickel

Denver