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trail manners

Las Vegas, Nevada
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trail manners

After our recent hike of Bright Angel trail I thought I would post this as a reminder. There are many on the trails who are not really hikers, or those who are but have forgetten.

•Hikers should always yield to horses

•Downhill traffic should yield to uphill traffic

So when someone with a giant pack on their back, who has hiked 9 miles up from the canyon floor is coming up, move to the down hill side out of their way.

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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1. Re: trail manners

Thanks Norgetroll. These are good reminders. Unfortunately, most of the people who need to know these common courtesies don't read these forums, or even the signs and information guides that contain the same advice.

But if it helps just a few readers to remember, then maybe other walkers will observe and learn.

Yielding to mules and animals is a quick lesson, sometimes learned painfully. Being kind to uphill hikers is often overlooked.

Edited: 25 March 2012, 19:22
Phoenix, Arizona
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2. Re: trail manners

Horses and mules are very sure-footed and are much bigger than you. If it comes down to it, you will be the one going down into the canyon. Yield!!!

Evanston, Wyoming
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for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
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3. Re: trail manners

...and the wranglers leading those mule trains are usually bigger than a lot of us and even if they're not, they take no cr@p from any of us. Remind me to tell you sometime about the time I saw a 5'1" girl mule skinner tell a 6'2" male hiker to move his tookus out of the way (politely of course) and what happened to him when he refused on "moral grounds" because he thought mules shouldn't be allowed in the canyon.

Wickenburg, Arizona
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for Wickenburg
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4. Re: trail manners

I can just about imagine and I'd have loved to see that!!! Serves the guy right!

NY
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5. Re: trail manners

There are jackasses and then there are jackasses.

And when the mules pass, hikers should take the inner (away from the edge) side of the trail. It makes sense if you think about it.

Chattanooga...
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864 posts
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6. Re: trail manners

Come on now, K-Bot; spill it!

Personally when I'm huffing and puffing uphill I'm more than happy to step aside; it allows me to steal a 30-second breather and look polite at the same time. :-)

Seattle
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
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7. Re: trail manners

Thanks for the reminder about yielding to uphill hikers.

When I am hiking up from the canyon bottom, I am not shy about "reminding" people who block the path that they need to yield the right of way. And then I thank them for doing what they should have done without my asking. When you are hiking up it is important to keep the momentum going.

As for yielding to the mules, that should be a no-brainer.

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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8. Re: trail manners

I want to hear that tale K-Bot. How about if we discuss it over a cup of Limoncello?

Seattle
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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9. Re: trail manners

No limoncello bribery! She has to tell the tale here. We're all ears.

Edited: 26 March 2012, 17:03
Evanston, Wyoming
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for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
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10. Re: trail manners

Well the mule skinner in question was a 40-something gal, veteran of the rodeo circuit, champion barrel racer back in her younger days. I was on her Phantom Ranch trip when this young dude comes screeing down the Bright Angel Trail trying to bypass the switchbacks! Well, he happened to "land" on the trail in front of our mule train - it was a miracle none of the mules got spooked, this is how well-trained they are. This wrangler at first politely tells him to stand on the inside part of the trail to which this guy replied something to the effect of "Screw you, lady, I'm not moving for you and your canyon wreckers!" They went back and forth re: the trail etiquette regs, which were clearly posted at the trailhead, which included staying ON the trail. So this guy decides to bolt down to the next switchback thinking he'd escaped consequence. Well, guess what; mule train leaders are equipped with radios which happen to be tuned in to the Park Service frequency! About 1 hour after this encounter our train of "trail wreckers" saw Mr. Moral Grounds being escorted in handcuffs out of the canyon by a ranger with a sidearm. And they stood aside when the mules passed.

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