image
image

Cairn - Trail Markers

Cairn is a man-made pile (or stack) of stones. It comes from the Scottish Gaelic. Cairns are found all over the world in uplands, on moorland, on mountaintops, near waterways and on sea cliffs, and also in barren desert and tundra areas. They vary in size from small stone markers to entire artificial hills, and in complexity from loose, conical rock piles to delicately balanced sculptures and elaborate feats of megalithic engineering. Cairns may be painted or otherwise decorated, e.g. for increased visibility or for religious reasons.In modern times, cairns are often erected as landmarks, a use they have had since ancient times. Since prehistory, they have also been built as sepulchral monuments, or used for defensive, hunting, ceremonial, astronomical and other purposes.

Today, cairns are built for many purposes. The most common use in North America and Northern Europe is to mark mountain bike and hiking trails and other cross-country trail blazing, especially in mountain regions at or above the tree line.

All images copyright 2013. Rachel Cobb, not for use in any media with out permission. See Contact page.Rachel Cobb

Back to the Southwest Gallery

 Click image for close-up view

Cairn
Cairn-1
Monument Valley

 

Chimney Rock
Cairn-2
Along the hiking trail
Chimney Rock, Abiquiu
nr. El Rito, New Mexico

 

Arches National Park
Cairn-3
John Fords Point
Arches National Park


Valley of the Gods
Cairn-4
Mitten Bte
Valley of the Gods

 

Chimney Rock
Cairn-5
Along the hiking trail
Chimney Rock, Abiquiu
nr. El Rito, New Mexico



 
Chimney Rock
Cairn-6
Along the hiking trail
Chimney Rock, Abiquiu
nr. El Rito, New Mexico


 
Canyon de Chelly
Cairn-7
Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly
Cairn-8
Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly
Cairn-9
Canyon de Chelly

 
South Korea
Cairn-10
Seoraksan National Park
Gangwon-do, South Korea


 
Cambodia
Cairn-11
Angkor Wat
Cambodia

Cambodia
Cairn-12
Angkor Wat
Cambodia

Cambodia
Cairn-13
Angkor Wat
Cambodia

 
South Korea
Cairn-14
Tromso
Norway

 
South Korea
Cairn-15
Tromso
Norway


South Korea
Cairn-16
Tromso
Norway

Click image for close-up view



image