Whistler Blog

Whistler Hiking Trail Etiquette

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Whistler and the surrounding area is home to some of the most spectacular hikes in British Columbia. Whether you are hiking or biking it is important to follow proper trail etiquette to preserve the experience for all visitors.

Whether you are a seasoned hiker looking for a refresher or you are new to the outdoor scene, we’ve compiled the best tips for sharing the hiking trail in Whistler.

1. Leave No Trace Rule

A clean trail is a happy trail and it’s important to make sure every hiker enjoys the same beautiful scenery that you do. If you are packing snacks or a picnic be sure to pack your trash away when leaving. And if you do find other trash on the trail left behind by others take that too. Leave the trail better than you found it.

2. Group Size

Hiking is a fun group activity to organize with friends but you should try to limit the size of your group or break it up. It’s important to be aware that large groups can be difficult to pass and they should yield to single and smaller group hikers. The slowest hiker should lead the group as

3. Volume!

Everyone has different motivations for getting out and enjoying Mother Nature. For many, it is to enjoy the peace and solitude found in this outdoor playground. Be respectful and always use headphones if you want to listen to music.

4. Stay on the Trail

Hike single file and stay on the trail, remember that the trail is there for a reason. Veering off can not only be harmful to your personal safety but also to the entire ecosystem.

5. Traffic Flow

Stay on the right of the trail and pass on the left. Whether you’re biking, hiking or running it’s important to know your place on the trail and when you should yield. Hikers going up a trail always have right of way over other hikers.

Always read the trailhead guidelines! Most trails have the same rules, but some might have specific rules for that trail. For example on many Whistler hikes dogs are not permitted. You can be slapped with a hefty fine for breaking trail rules so be sure to read the guidelines before beginning a trail.

6. Local Wildlife

Photo courtesy of RMOW

Whistler is home to lots of local wildlife such as marmots, beavers and bears that you will encounter along your hike. During hiking season it is very likely you will see a bear on a trail if you do meet a local black bear on your hike the following are some helpful safety tips:
– Make lots of noise so the bear is aware of your presence and it is encouraged to leave.
– Be sure not to separate a mother and her young or a bear and it’s food.
– For your safety and the bears, do not approach the animal.

The most important tip we can give you is to get out there and have fun! For detailed guides to all the hikes in Whistler and the surrounding area check out Whistler Hiatus.