Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a trail, wondering if you were going in the right direction? You’re not alone. One of the keys to a safe and enjoyable hiking experience is knowing how to interpret trail signs. At OutdoorActivitiesTenerife, we not only offer you guided routes through the most impressive landscapes of Tenerife, but we also want to equip you with the necessary knowledge so that, even on your independent adventures, you always find your way. So, what are the signs of hiking that you should know?

1. Paint Marks: The Colors of the Road

Paint marks are, perhaps, the most universal hiking signs. In Tenerife, as in many places in the world, these marks can be colored stripes painted on trees, rocks or posts. Every color and shape has a meaning:

  • White and Red Stripes: Used to mark long-distance trails (GR), suitable for multi-day treks. (+50km)
  • White and Yellow Stripes: They indicate short distance trails (PR), ideal for one-day routes. (10-50km)
  • White and Green Stripes: They mark local trails (SL), perfect for short or circular excursions. (<10km)
  • Circles or Colored Dots: They often mark variants of the main route or points of interest near the trail.
Long Distance Signs
Long Distance Signs
Small Route Signs
Small Route Signs
Local Signs
Local Signs

2. Signs Directions: When the Road Divides

On some trails, especially the more developed ones or in natural parks, you will find directional signs. These can range from simple arrows on poles to more elaborate signs indicating the distance or estimated time to certain points of interest. These signs are your best friends when you come to a crossroads and need to decide which way to go.

3. Milestones: The Towers of Stones that Guide your Path

Cairns, or cairns, are piles of stones, between 20 – 60 centimeters, placed along trails by other walkers to mark the way. Although they may look like simple piles of rocks, they are actually an ancient form of navigation in the wild. It is important not to alter these milestones, as they can be essential for the orientation of those who come after you.

stone tower hiking

4. Natural Signage: Reading the Environment

Aside from man-made signs, the natural environment offers its own clues. Road erosion, tree roots forming a natural path, or even the direction plants are leaning can tell you that you are on the right path. Learning to read these signs can enrich your hiking experience and bring you closer to nature.

Turn Every Route into a Safe Adventure

At Outdoor Activities Tenerife, our priority is your safety and enjoyment. For this reason, our guided routes not only take you to discover the most spectacular corners of Tenerife, but also give you the opportunity to Learn about orientation and signage when hiking. And for those days when you decide to venture out on your own a, this guide will serve as an excellent starting point.

Remember, hiking is more than just following a path; It is learning to read nature, understand its signals and respect your environment. Whether you’re exploring Tenerife’s majestic trails with us or plotting your own route, these skills will not only ensure a safer experience, but also a more rewarding one.

Explore, learn and enjoy safely! With OutdoorActivitiesTenerife, every step is a new adventure. Ready to discover Tenerife in a completely new way? Contact us today and let us be your guide on this incredible island.