Hiker Catches Tourist Stomping on Subalpine Area in Viral Video

Even the most novice hikers know that there are some absolute no-nos when hiking. Leave No Trace, keeping dogs leashed, and respecting wildlife are some policies most hikers happily abide by. 

However, sometimes people either need to be more educated or care more about proper etiquette while on trails. One hiker recently caught someone going off-trail while hiking in the Pacific Northwest, damaging the delicate plants and ecosystem along the way. 

In the clip from @touronsofthepnw, viewers see the hiker blatantly ignoring the signs and walking all over the fragile subalpine meadows. 

Photo via Instagram @touronsofthepnw

According to the post, the particular trail has multiple signs that warn hikers about the harm they can cause the delicate flowers if they roam off-trail. Sadly, this hiker thought rules didn’t apply to them. However, the damage was already done. It takes several years for the plants to reestablish themselves after being harmed. 

Why Going off Trail Has Devastating Consequences

While it’s not confirmed where the event occurred, it appears to be at Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park. In the past, Mount Rainier Park officials have issued warnings to hikers about the subalpine meadows. 

“ALL subalpine areas are delicate and see increased visitation every year,” park officials said. “Even in areas not specifically listed, please practice Leave No Trace and STAY ON THE TRAIL to protect these unique ecosystems.”

Despite park officials’ ongoing PSAs, people continue to wreak havoc on the environment. Every year, millions of people step on subalpine areas, causing nearly irreparable harm to the park’s plants. Moreover, it affects the animals who rely on plants for food and habitat. 

While we may want our own Sound of Music meadow moment for your social media, venturing off-trail has dire consequences on the environment long after you snap a pic. 

Instead of this harmful practice, opt for the zoom function on your camera. This way you can get pictures from a safe and non-damaging distance. In addition, it’s a good idea to pack some binoculars that will give you great views while on trail.

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