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[Yosemite]

Those who cairn too much

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Those who cairn too much

Postby balzaccom » Sun Sep 18, 2022 8:27 pm

I got a lot of feedback from a recent blog post on my website about trailwork to Lake Margaret. Lots of people wondering why we are taking down cairns. It's pretty simple: they're unnecessary. And part of Leave No Trace is to ...you know...Leave No Trace. I knocked down more than 130 cairns in 4 miles on this trail. I left three.

So here's my summary of cairn policy.

Should you ever put up a cairn? Before you do, ask yourself this question: Am I lost? If you are lost, don't put up a cairn. It will just confuse anyone who follows you. If you are not lost, then you don't need to put up a cairn. You found your way just fine. Please allow other hikers to do the same.


If you can see where the trail goes, don't put up a cairn.

If you can see the trail behind you, don't put up a cairn.

If you can see a log cut for the trail, don't put up a cairn.

If you can see a blaze on a tree, don't put up a cairn.

If you can see a strip of plastic ribbon, don't put up a cairn.

If you can see footprints in the dirt or sand, don't put up a cairn.

If you can see a path through the grass, don't put up a cairn.

If you can see branches outlining the trail, Don't put up a cairn.

If you can a cairn ahead or behind you, don't put up a cairn.

If it's obvious where the trail goes, don't put up a cairn.

If you are moved to create artwork with natural materials, do it in your garden at home. Don't put up a cairn.

And if you do put up a cairn to help you find you way back....take it down on your way back.

When in doubt, don't put up a cairn.
Check our our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Or just read a good mystery novel set in the Sierra; https://www.amazon.com/Danger-Falling-Rocks-Paul-Wagner/dp/0984884963
balzaccom
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