Hiking Hazards to Watch Out for in the Mountains

Hiking is a great form of cardio and a way to appreciate your surroundings more. There are many public and well-traveled trails close to civilization for you to enjoy. 

Being aware of hiking hazards can help you enjoy this form of exercise and recreation more safely. 

Falling Rocks

When you are hiking, the quality and safety of the trail you are on can vary widely. There are some trails that are very well-maintained and others that are not. 

Even if a trail’s path is very safe, there can still be a high chance of falling rocks if you are in a canyon or near large, loose rocks. You should constantly be checking your surroundings and what is above you, especially if there are warning signs for falling rocks. Wearing a hiking helmet can help prevent your head from falling rocks. 


Out in nature, you are in the territory of wildlife animals. Before hiking in a new area, you should research which wildlife animals are in that area. Common ones include bears, coyotes, moose, and snakes. 

Besides just knowing which animals you might encounter, you should also research how to react to encounters with these animals and how to avoid them if possible. For example, rattlesnakes normally won’t harm you as long as you leave them alone. It is best to avoid encounters with dangerous wildlife to prevent serious injury. 

Slippery Paths

Even on well-maintained paths, weather conditions such as rain or ice can make trails quite slippery. You can prevent slipping by hiking in shoes with good tread and using hiking poles. If you are uncomfortable on a path, go very slowly or turn back. Slipping on a trail can be very dangerous because it can lead to serious fractures or other injuries. Additionally, if you are on a narrow ridge path, you could risk falling off the edge if you slip. 

The best way to prepare for hiking hazards you might encounter is by researching the trails you are going on and planning ahead. In addition to knowing the conditions of the trails, you should also be able to judge your own health and conditions well. Know your skill level and abilities to accurately choose a hike that you will be safe on. If you ever feel unsafe on a path, you should turn back or ask for help. 

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