|Cairn along Corona Arch Trail in Moab, Utah|
Experienced hikers know that following man made cairns is one of the best ways to avoid getting lost in the wilderness. New hikers may not have even heard the word.
What exactly is a cairn? A cairn is a man made pile of rocks set as a memorial or marker. On hiking trails, a cairn is a trail marker. (Pronounced care-n)
While many mountain trails can be easy to follow, trails on rocky areas are much harder to distinguish. This is where the use of a cairn will not only keep you on the trail but may literally save your life.
While some trails already have a series of cairns set in place, many do not. I was hiking a trail in which I was trying to find the turn off for another trail. I missed the turn off and found my way into an archery range instead. It wasn't until the following week, I returned and found a small cairn at the fork which led to the trail I was looking for. Needless to say, I made sure to add several rocks to the cairn. I wanted to be sure I never missed it again.
Of all of the places I've hiked, the trails in Moab, Utah have the most cairns I've seen. Put on your hiking shoes and head to the nearest hiking to find a cairn.
|A huge collection of cairns.|