Environmentally Sound Hiking

Written by Elizabeth Pacheco, ESLLC 2017-2018

When hiking the majestic 14ers of the Colorado Rockies there are many things to keep in mind. Keeping the environment safe is always a priority especially when you are enjoying the untouched part of the mountains. With this in mind, we move to a few ways we can keep our mountains safe.

Always stay on the trail, anyone who has hiked has heard this before. But it is extremely important to actually do. When you walk off the trail not only do you step on very important plant life that has not adapted to being stepped on. You also erode the soil, and this makes it very hard for the plant life grow back. Staying on the trail doesn’t just mean you. Dogs and other pets you bring should also be kept to the trail. That means keeping your dog on a least is very important. If your dog leaves the trail and scares off wildlife they can often desert their homes and leave their young to die. This happens very often and many bird species are dying off because of this.

Keep a waste container with you! Not only should you pack up all the trash you create, but also your human waste. There is not a lot of top soil on the tall mountains and human and animal waste does not decompose how it is supposed to. This means it slowly rots and usually erodes into water sources. This contaminates a very vital resource in the mountains.

These are some very simple tips to keep our mountains safe. If everyone who hiked followed these it would create a better environment and help trail upkeep.

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