Hiking Safety & Etiquette

Taking a hike on the mountain? Here's what you should know.

Stay on designated trails.

Venturing off trails destroys native plants and disturbs sensitive animal habitat.

Share the trail.

You're likely to see other hikers enjoying the trail. If you're being overtaken by a faster group of hikers, find a safe place to step aside and let them pass you.

Never approach wild animals.

Whitefish Mountain Resort is home to deer, elk, mountain lions, coyotes, weasels, wolves, black bears and grizzly bears. Avoid surprise wildlife encounters by talking and making noise on the trails. If you see an animal, do not approach it; even docile-looking animals can be dangerous. Bear spray is permitted on the mountain and can be a deterrent in an animal attack.

Carry fresh water.

It's important to stay hydrated during the heat of summer, so carry a full water bottle or bladder. Water found near trails is not recommended for drinking. Giardia and other pathogens contaminate most mountain streams.

Pack it in, pack it out.

Garbage attracts bears. Plan to carry all disposable bottles, cans, wrappers, fruit peels and other food scraps until you reach a trash can at the end of your hike.

Wear appropriate footwear.

While hiking you will encounter uneven terrain, exposed tree roots and loose dirt or rocks. We recommend light hiking boots, trail running shoes or other athletic shoes with moderate tread.

Dress for the weather.

Plan ahead, check the weather forecast and bring clothing for every likely scenario. The weather can change quickly in the mountains, so it never hurts to bring an extra jacket, a hat or even a pair of warm gloves.

Consider the altitude.

Visitors from lower elevations, especially sea level, may feel the effects of altitude at the top of the mountain, including dizziness or shortness of breath. To reduce altitude sickness, stay hydrated and limit physical exertion.

Practice fire safety.

Fire danger can be extreme during the summer. Smoking is not recommended on hiking trails and, at times, is prohibited.