Cairns

I love cairns. I love their literal purpose, showing the trail, keeping me on track. And I love their symbolic purpose, showing the trail, keeping me on track. More of a treasure hunt than blazes on a tree or a clearly marked trail. Just far enough away that there’s always a moment of doubt that you’re on the right path before you see that reliable pile of rocks. There have been cairns where I couldn’t see them and had to look straight up onto a rock race, cairns that stand out in a stark scene or are hidden behind other rock formations. Some seem purely decorative, some make you wonder if it’s a trap to lead you into a river, and some make you wonder what could have possible happened here to merit so many cairns so close together. Some are a few rocks gathered from the area, some are true construction marvels designed to stand up to feet of snow to save you from a glacial white out with no chance of finding the trail. I love them all indiscriminately.

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Canyonlands National Park, Needles District
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Canyonlands National Park, Needles Park (actual Needles included)
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Arches National Park
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Arches National Park, do I follow the cairn or the trail sign?
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Arches National Park
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Arches National Park
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Arches National Park
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Arches National Park
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Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky District
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Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky District
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Canyonlands National Park, Island the Sky District
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Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky District
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Pacific Crest Trail, somewhere between Arch Rock Spring and Big Crow Basin, Washington
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Skylight Pond Trail, Vermont
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Mt. Jefferson, Pacific Crest Trail, Oregon
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Mt. Jefferson, Pacific Crest Trail, Oregon
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Canyonlands National Park, Needles District
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Canyonlands National Park, Needles District
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Eagle Creek Trail, Orgeon

 

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One thought on “Cairns

  1. What a fun collection of cairns pictures! The fact that cairns don’t come with written words left their intentions for interpretation. Should so follow or should I not? Sometimes I wonder.

    Like

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