Stacking Rocks

Posted by: balzaccom

Stacking Rocks - 06/17/19 06:38 PM

In case you were wondering. We've seen these "art installations" all over the parks we visit. And while every once in a while one seems slightly charming, the absolute epidemic of stacked rocks all over the place has quickly become a real eyesore.

When we were hiking on our recent trip to the Southwest, we noted this very clear sign that made it apparent: stacked rocks are graffiti. This is especially important in the Southwest, where geoglyphs and other rock installations can be thousands of years old, and indicate real archeological importance. Scrawling all over that with your own clever creations is graffiti, nothing more or less.

Here's a link to the sign: [img][/img]
Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Stacking Rocks - 06/18/19 06:05 AM

What is even worse is folks who paint the rocks with faces and geometric designs. They paint small rocks 3" to 6" and leave them on trails and beaches.
Posted by: BZH

Re: Stacking Rocks - 06/18/19 01:20 PM

The link to your picture did not work for me.

I somewhat agree with you based on an LNT philosophy but I think it is a bit extreme to call three rocks stacked in a cairn or other small arrangement of stone graffiti. Some parks allow you to pan for gold or collect a small amount of seashells. LNT is a bit extreme language for what is really a philosophical goal (with some concrete rules depending on where you are). I would rather use graffiti for actual destruction to our parks which does happen on a frighteningly regular basis. In terms of moving rocks, I would call this abhorrently destructive:

I wouldn't want to use similar language to describe someone trying to help others find a trail.
Posted by: balzaccom

Re: Stacking Rocks - 06/18/19 01:26 PM

Sorry about the image. I don't know how to fix it. The photo is of an official park sign that says please report all vandalism and graffiti, including stacked rocks.

No ambiguity there, no exceptions.
Posted by: aimless

Re: Stacking Rocks - 06/22/19 03:33 PM

I wouldn't want to use similar language to describe someone trying to help others find a trail.

I do not equate the kind of rock stacking being discussed here with making a rock cairn as a trail marker.

This new fad of rock stacking has no functional purpose, other than to display how cleverly you can balance rocks on top of each other. It's a bit like making sand castles at the beach, except the tide doesn't come in twice a day to erase your handiwork as if it never existed. They last.

Cairns marking trails have a valuable function where the trail would not otherwise be apparent. They are built to last, but not as monuments to one person's ego.
Posted by: BZH

Re: Stacking Rocks - 06/24/19 10:58 AM

I've been thinking a bit more about this. I somewhat agree with this as a PR campaign to get people to think more about there actions and not fill up the southwest with "Rock Art". I definitely agree the actual ecological destruction (digging up river beds for rocks to stack) needs to stop. I still think there are more pressing needs in our national parks than stacked rocks. I view this rock stacking like loud music in the parking lot. I find it annoying and inappropriate, but if you pick up after yourself you don't come anywhere near the top 10% of worst offenders in our NPs.
Posted by: tramp

Re: Stacking Rocks - 06/25/19 07:51 PM

I retreat to the outdoors to see how nature/god/whatever made it. Everything we attempt is a poor copy and most times an eyesore.
Posted by: balzaccom

Re: Stacking Rocks - 08/11/19 08:43 PM

Here's what the sign says at the trailhead for the Emigrant Wilderness:

"Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them."

I'd post a photos, but I've given up doing that here...
Posted by: sha6mm

Re: Stacking Rocks - 10/01/19 09:55 PM

Funny at Laurel Falls TN on the Appalachian trail today in the middle or the stream rocks were stacked about 4 feet high, come the first good rain and they will not be stacked any more.
I have seen carins all over Canada, never really gave them a thought before.
Now what bothers me is trash and I packed out some one else’s Subway cups and sandwich wrappers today. I try to have a plastic bag like you get a WalMart when you buy something just to bring out a little trash if I see it.
Posted by: 4evrplan

Re: Stacking Rocks - 10/02/19 11:37 AM

Absolutely sha6mm, in most places I've been you could probably fill a kitchen trash bag on a day long hike. It really is a shame.