Tips & Best Practices

Leave No Trace and Cairns

Cairns (a Gaelic word for “heap of stones”) are intentionally constructed stacks of rocks that mark trails and guide hikers in the mountains above tree-line and in other barren areas. Cairns are very important guides for hikers during periods of low visibility (dense fog and whiteout) and in winter when snow covers the trail. By adhering to the following guidelines, you can minimize the impact of cairns, and ensure that cairns continue to serve as a critical route-finding tool for trail users and resource protection tool for the alpine landscape.