Trail Etiquette 


We follow the often unspoken "Trail Etiquette" that is practiced by old-school 4-wheelers, which developed not just so that everyone can get along on the trail, but, primarily, for safety considerations.

The primary objectives of the Yuma 4-Wheelers is to represent all that is good for the sport of 4-wheeling, and keep our trails open, all while having a good time!

Upcoming Trail Run information is posted on the Yuma 4X4 Forum, under "Upcoming Trail Runs". All updates and changes will be posted there, so it's imperative that anyone planning to go on a Trail Run with us, signs up on the forum. When a person signs up for a Trail Run on the forum, if there's any changes in the schedule, or cancellation, the person will get a "Topic Reply Notification". They just click on the link in the email and they will be directed to that topic (in this case it would be a Trail Run).

We ask that everyone use common sense, so we can all have a good time, and do not have to spend time doing recoveries, repairs, or administering first aid.

Trail Etiquette

1. Be Prepared!
If you don’t have the time to prepare for the trip, then don’t go. In extreme environments like Arizona, it can be a life or death decision. You can get in serious trouble for not bringing a very simple item, like water. Other basics include: tow strap, jack, spare tire

2. Be a Good Samaritan
Whenever we come across someone who is in trouble, we stop to offer some help. Signs of someone in need of assistance include: someone walking along a 4x4 trail, a vehicle parked with the hood up, or someone looking under their vehicle, or waving at you as you approach. If you encounter someone on the trail who is stopped, it is cool to just say "Howdy. Are you OK?" If you see a parked vehicle and no occupants, someone is on foot nearby, either intentionally or unintentionally, so be alert. Offer to call someone for them. If the vehicle requires towing, do so only if you are willing, able, and the vehicle has proper recovery points.

3. Dusting
Many 4x4's are open-air, so a big cloud of dust is not just inconvenient, but hazardous if the driver's eyesight or breathing is momentarily impaired. Be considerate and mindful of what your actions cause.

4. Tailgating
Closely following another vehicle is dangerous in any situation. In off-pavement driving, braking distances and maneuvering is significantly affected. Keep distances of at least thirty feet between vehicles. This allows vehicles room to brake and maneuver, as well as sufficient distance to read the terrain and pick a line. On steep four-wheeling hills, downhill vehicles could be struck by debris flung from spinning tires, or worse, a rolling vehicle. All of us have experienced failed climbs. You do not want to be tailgating someone up a hill when he fails his climb.

5. Passing on the Trail
When you come nose to nose with someone on a one-track trail, whoever has a wide spot behind them backs up. But, safety dictates that if you are on a hill, the vehicle driving uphill has the right-of-way. This is because backing down uneven terrain poses the problem of poor visibility, with the driver potentially backing down a ledge off-camber and rolling.

6. Wheel spinning
Usually, wheel spinning that lasts longer than a few seconds can quickly result in broken parts. Let your common sense dictate your course of action instead of your ego. Try another line, a bypass, or turn around. Stop spinning your wheels.

8. Trash
Don't litter - ever. Not cigarettes, sandwich wrap... nothing. Carry your trash out with you, and dispose of it properly. If we want to continue to have trails for 4-wheeling, we must take responsibility for them.

9. Tricks
Leave your ego at home. Every vehicle (and driver, for that matter) has its limitations. Backing off early and accepting that a maneuver is impossible or choosing another approach may prevent vehicle damage and, more important, personal injury. Never try a maneuver that you are uncomfortable with. Don't worry about folks who try to get you to do things. They just want a show - don't be the showman.

10. Wildlife
Do not to disturb, or harm any wildlife - we are in their territory and if they feel threatened, they can turn on you. Many of us hope to see something in it's natural habitat. Rattlesnakes, scorpions, foxes and coyotes are not to be harmed on our trail runs.

11. Speed
We drive slow and enjoy the scenery. We like to live the experience to the fullest.

12. Obey the Laws
We only travel in areas open to 4-wheeling. Areas open to 4-wheeling are existing trails and washes, unless marked otherwise.