“Like graffiti, artistic expression like this has no place in our national parks. When at Zion, every responsible visitor should be following Leave No Trace principles. This means leaving no sign that a person traveled through the area. That’s zero impact!”
You would never guess the simple act of stacking rocks is such a hot button subject but every time we post about it the collective ire of our audience is unleashed. THIS POST from 2018 titled “Why You Shouldn’t Stack Rocks In Wilderness Areas” went absolutely bonkers with responses about rock stackers and why they suck. Zion National Park recently posted a strongly worded statement on the matter and we want to share it with the world:
“What are rock cairns? In their simplest form, they are stacked rocks with a meaning or purpose. Generally that purpose is for navigation by marking the right way on a not-so-well defined trail.
Similar in look to the rock cairns, is the new modern art and hobby of “rock balancing,” where people create abstract towers with rocks. Visitors that build these towers in Zion may not think this hurts the environment, but it can! Moving rocks around exposes the soil to wind and watererosion and takes away shelter for many small animals. Also, rock stacks along trails could be confused as a trail marker and send a hiker in the wrong direction.
These hikers may be at the park to get away from civilization and to connect with nature. When people move rocks to create decorative cairns, they are altering the natural beauty of the park and leaving a mark on the landscape. Like graffiti, artistic expression like this has no place in our national parks. When at Zion, every responsible visitor should be following Leave No Trace principles. This means leaving no sign that a person traveled through the area. That’s zero impact!
The National Park Service units receives over 300 million visitors each year! Imagine if every one of those visitors built a rock cairn of their own? The natural and cultural resources that people come to enjoy at these sites would be diminished. So please, leave the rocks where they are and take only pictures in this beautiful national park.
If you want to help protect the park and yourself you can take the Zion National Park Pledge #ZionPledge. By doing this, you can become a steward and show your dedication to this amazing national park.”