Mountain Biking Etiquette and Safety Tips from the Experts at Victory Ranch


Park City is fortunate to have of one of the most unique and elaborate trail systems in the world. With approximately 400 miles of continuous, non-motorized recreational trails, Park City and the surrounding area, including Victory Ranch, have earned the world’s only Gold Level Ride Center designated by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA).

As stewards of the land, we urge everyone at Victory Ranch to set a good example both on and off property. Riding safely and practicing good trail etiquette means a better experience for all.

Before you hit the trails this season, below are a few important tips from Victory Ranch’s expert Outfitters staff.

Yielding on a trail occurs when one party allows another party to go on without hinderance. The most obvious, and sometimes the most overlooked aspect in trail etiquette, is to simply allow others to pass.

Uphill travel generally has the right of way; those traveling downhill should yield to those coming up. Bikes, even if traveling uphill, NEVER have the right of way over pedestrians or equestrians. Bikes should stop when letting other trail users pass.

CZ2R2756Courteous cyclists will often find that, when encountered respectfully, most hikers will step aside for a bike to pass by. This is a courtesy that deserves a “thank you, have a great day!” from the cyclist.

When yielding on a bike, help keep the single track from widening by getting your wheels as far to the side of the trail as possible when stopping. Once stopped, put your outside foot a couple of inches off the trail and tilt your bike out of the way for others to pass. Never ride off the trail.

Short Cuts
Bikes should not skid around corners. Skidding permanently damages trails, significantly decreasing trail quality and longevity. Instead, slow down and coast through turns. Hikers and runners should not shortcut switchbacks. This also compromises vegetation, aesthetics and longevity of trails.

Wildlife Encounters
If you encounter wildlife on a trail, always remain calm. Place your bike between you and the animal, and keep your distance. Never approach or chase wildlife at anytime.

Make noise when in densely vegetated areas to alert wildlife of your presence. It is also wise to ride with a bell and ring often on blind corners or in overgrown areas. With a calm mind and cautious approach, you can avoid dangerous situations and enjoy wildlife sightings on rides.

Safety and Control
Maintaining a safe, controlled riding style on open trails is absolutely paramount. Mountain bikers are often accused of high speeds, reckless riding, spooking horses and wildlife and unnerving other trail users. Respectful riders know to ride within their own abilities and avoid endangering others. Knowing your fitness level will help you ride at an appropriate pace, and keep your speed in check. It is essential to always wear a helmet.

Wet Ground, Turn Around
Although mountain bikes are designed to handle muddy conditions, it can be dangerous to riders and damaging to trails to ride when the trails are too wet. If you encounter an area that appears too wet to ride over, pick up your bike and walk around it. Riding through saturated trails can leave ruts and cause significant damage to trails.

However, riders should not leave the trails at any time: trails are built to provide easily identifiable routes for recreational activity such as walking, hiking and mountain biking. Trails are designed to maximize exposure to the natural environment with minimal damage to the ecosystem. Going off designated trails can harm surface vegetation, ruin animal habitat and damage soil. By staying on designated trails, you help preserve these beautiful ecosystems for future generations to enjoy.

Leave No Trace
Make sure to pack up anything you bring with you, including energy bar wrappers, punctured tubes and all other refuse or equipment.

Victory Ranch’s expert Outfitters team sets our members up with everything they need for their mountain biking adventures. This summer, they’ll be guiding members on excursions along our own 20 miles of expertly groomed trails. View our selection of members-only events on our 2017 Summer Calendar.

Something Smells
We are proud to be a pet-friendly community that offers a clean and comfortable living environment for everyone – and their pets – to call home. After all, we understand that sometimes your pets feel more like family, well, than family!

For those of you who consistently clean up after your pet, thank you. On behalf of your fellow residents and the Victory Ranch staff, we appreciate your consideration and responsibility. However; others in our community neglect to pick up after their pets. And it’s a trend that is getting worse. Please be mindful of your neighbors and the property, do your part and pick up after your dog.

Trash is unsightly and ruins everyone’s outdoor experience. Let’s all do our part to take care of the beautiful nature that surrounds the Ranch. By throwing away your trash, we can assure we preserve the property in it’s natural state.

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7865 North Victory Ranch Drive Kamas, Utah 84036 435.785.5000