If you are going to be traveling into Colorado in order to do some hiking on the trails, there is a certain etiquette that you must follow whether you are just visiting or if you are local.
Recently, along with my boyfriend, we followed a 3.6 mile hike from Maroon Bells to Crater Lake Trail which is located just outside of Aspen Colorado. It is a fairly easy route to take, mostly a dirt path that goes through an Aspen Grove that is relatively small, with peaks that are all around you which can be seen when you get to open spaces. This is a fantastic way for anyone to spend Sunday morning, especially on a long weekend in this proverbial ski town, beautiful scenery in all directions.
It would have been much better if our fellow hikers at actually follow the basic trail rules. Some of them came from outside of town, which should be expected because of it being a prime location during what is called peak leaf peeping season, that just squeezed by others instead of allowing the uphill hikers to pass by as they stood still. Even trail runners came too close, enough to feel their breath on my neck, causing me to step to the side, something that should’ve been done or even announcing their presence a little bit sooner. Although this lack of proper hiking conduct didn’t entirely make the experience horrible-how could it actually do that with the scenery as mentioned above?-I was definitely affronted by this experience.
In order to do my part in helping to keep the trails happy for everyone, I asked Jeff Goldin person basic trail etiquette tips, an expert out of Colorado Mountain Club. Here’s what he said:
STAY ON THE TRAIL
The first rule that should be followed is avoiding getting off of the trail because of the possibility of upsetting or damaging the Alpine tundra or plants that could take years to recover it trampled.