When in popular or high-use areas, concentrate your activity within established campsites and trails to prevent impact to the surrounding area. These areas have been “hardened”-have already lost their vegetation cover-and continued use causes little additional impact.
Stay on trails. Hiking outside of the established treadway tramples plants, contributes to erosion, and creates wide or multiple paths. In muddy or wet stretches, stay on exposed rocks or wooden planking where possible. Wearing gaiters over boots helps keep mud out, allowing you to walk through wet places when there are no planks. Do not shortcut, switchbacks-it saves little time and causes gully formation and erosion.