The responsibilities given below are extremely important for the safety and enjoyment of all involved.
Know Your Physical Abilities And Limitations
Read the hike information carefully, particularly the class (A-E). Read the Cautions section for special considerations: altitude and trail conditions like rocks, roots and gravel, or a steep descent. Try easier hikes before trying harder ones.
- Easy, not more than 5 miles and not more than 200 ft. total uphill.
- Moderate, not more than 7 miles and not more than 700 ft. total uphill.
- Challenging, not more than 9 miles and not more than 1500 ft. total uphill.
- Difficult, not more than 11 miles and not more than 2300 ft. total uphill.
- Most difficult, more than 11 miles or more than 2300 ft. total uphill.
For your own safety and the safety of others, don’t overestimate your ability or underestimate the hike. Consider the following:
- Have you done a similar hike recently [similar in total uphill, length, and starting elevation]?
- How long did it take for you to do that hike?
- Are you comfortable hiking at the forecast temperature range for the hike day?
Contact the hike leader if you have questions about the hike.
Be Prepared: What to Bring on a Hike
- Your lunch and snacks.
- Plenty of water. At least two quarts in the summer on long hikes.
- A daypack to hold your water, food, basic first aid, and spare clothing.
- Adequate clothing for changeable weather, and a hat and sunglasses. Dress in layers. Long pants are recommended for most hikes.
- Hiking boots with good ankle support and heavy tread for traction.
- One hiking stick (trekking pole) or a pair will greatly improve your stability.
Be On Time
Confirm the starting time for each hike. Please show up at the meeting time, not the leaving time. The fifteen-minute gap is necessary for sign-ups, check-in, and van loading. If you are not there by 10 minutes before the leaving time, you may lose your place to another hiker.
Call If You Can’t Make It
Call the center to cancel if you know you won’t be going on the hike. The sooner you call, the better so that another hiker on the wait list may be notified.
If you have a medical condition that may affect your ability to keep pace with the hiking group or that may require special attention, you should let the hike leader know before the group leaves the center.
Respect The Hike Leader’s Authority
The welfare of all participants is taken very seriously. Your hike leader will be knowledgeable about the trail and current conditions, and will be the final authority on all decisions. Please respect the responsibility that the hike leaders and assistants have accepted on your behalf.
Stay With The Hiking Group
Trails often branch without warning and you can easily get lost. Don’t get ahead of the leader or behind the sweep (designated hiker at rear of the group). If you are out of breath, out of water, scared of edge exposure, or need a bathroom break, let your hike leader or sweep know about it, so you can be accommodated. If you have a serious problem, someone will be designated to stay behind with you or accompany you back to the van.
Pack It In, Pack It Out
Put all your trash in your pack. Don’t leave food, thinking it is biodegradable or some critter will eat it. It looks unsightly and attracts pests. If you have room in your pack and see others’ trash, please carry it out.
Respect Artifacts And Historical Structures
It is against federal law to deface or remove artifacts or structures from public lands. In general, sites that are 100 years old or more are considered archeological sites. Examples are ruins of stone and ruins containing man-made materials like sluices, an old wooden bench, etc. Protected artifacts are items 50 years old or greater. An obvious example is pottery shards. A not-so-obvious example is an old rusty can that is 50 years old. Restrictions vary from location to location.
When fossils are considered as a past record of human activity, they are part of the local archaeological record and are protected on all public land. Collecting them is against federal law. When fossils are in the paleontology category, they are protected if they are in Wilderness Areas or Wilderness Study Areas. There are other types of areas where special restrictions apply, for example in a National Conservation Area. Vertebrate fossils are protected on all public lands. You may collect a reasonable amount of invertebrate fossils and/or plant fossils on most other public lands. Ask your hike leader before taking anything.
Respect Flora And Fauna
The plants and animals you see on a hike live there – you are a visitor to their home. Don’t pick the flowers or poke at the snakes.
Be Courteous To Other Hikers
Keep in mind that you are with a group. Be aware of your voice, avoid controversial subjects of conversation, and try not to lag behind while talking or taking pictures.
Leave Your Pets Behind
No pets are permitted on senior center vans or on senior center hikes.
While we work hard to make hikes safe and enjoyable, you may have complaints or suggestions on how we could improve our hiking program.
We prefer that you consider discussing these first with the hike leader. If you are not comfortable doing that, contact the hike coordinator for that hiking group. (To locate the hike coordinator’s name and contact information, log in to the ASCHG website and select the menu tab Hikers -> Hike coordinators or ask center desk personnel.)