Many snowmobile rides include at least some trail riding, and most trails in the Yukon are considered “multi-use”. This means you’ll likely be sharing the trail with a variety of other user groups, so a little bit of trail etiquette will go a long way towards making the trails safe and enjoyable for everyone. The Klondike Snowmobile Association kindly asks that all trail users follow standard trail etiquette…
- Always travel at a safe speed, and slow down when meeting others. People and pets are often scared by fast approaching snowmobiles, and they can injure themselves or you in a rushed attempt to get out of the way. Always slow down to 15km/h or less when meeting other trail users, and when groups of people or teams are coming the opposite way it’s often best to pull over and stop until they have passed. When meeting dog sled teams it is also recommended that snowmobilers pull over and turn off their engines.
- Never pass same-direction traffic unless you have a long straight section with enough width to safety go around. Always be aware of your surroundings, and if faster riders come up behind you please look for a safe passing area and then move over and wave them through.
- Keep to the right side of the trail. Keeping the well travelled portion of a trail two snowmobiles wide and keeping to the right significantly reduces the chances of a collision and helps our trail groomers too.
- Ride single file unless in a wide open off-trail space, and always keep a safe following distance between sleds.
- Learn proper hand signals and use them as needed.
- Always give way to trail groomers. Groomers require much more space and effort to maneuver than regular snowmobiles, and our groomers are all volunteer operated and may be out at any hour.
- When snowmobiling on a groomed trail be gentle and consistent on the throttle. Please avoid going “brap brap brap” down the trail, as this will introduce new moguls and deepen existing moguls in the trail surface which needlessly creates more work for our volunteers.
- Never snowmobile on top of set ski tracks. Ski tracks are often set by volunteers, and riding on them just creates more unnecessary conflicts between skiers and other snowmobilers.
- Never operate a wheeled vehicle on multi-use trails during winter, or otherwise create ruts, holes or mounds in the trail surface. Ruts or mounds on the trail are dangerous and can lead to serious injuries for snowmobilers and other trail users.
- When trucking or trailering your snowmobiles to a ride always double check that you’re vehicles and trailers are not blocking safe access to any roads, trails or driveways while you are out riding.
- Follow the rules when it comes to stop signs, restricted areas, speed limits, etc. They’re there for a reason.
- Ride safe, ride sober, and encourage your friends to do the same.
- Offer assistance to people who are stuck, lost, or otherwise in distress. The Yukon’s trails are not patrolled by anyone and it could be a long time before any other help comes along.
- Report trail conditions after each ride. Frequent reports help others plan their rides, brings attention to potential dangers, and helps our volunteers decide where there efforts are needed most.
- Join your local snowmobile club, they work hard for you!
The Klondike Snowmobile Association thanks everyone for helping us to make the Yukon’s multi-use trails a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. If you have any questions about trail etiquette please do contact us any time!