View Full Version : Photo Request: Post your favorite cairn pics

09-01-2010, 11:30 AM
For some reason, I'm always drawn to take pics of cairns when I'm on the trail and figured I would start this thread as a different sort of photo topic. Post your favorite cairn pics. Can be that the photo itself was particularly good, or that the cairn itself was creatively built, or its a cairn marking a significant or special spot for you.

Secondary motive here... I've actually been wanting to get a tattoo done of a cairn, and may take ideas from the pics to turn into an illustration and have it inked. :)

Below are a few of mine...

Cairn on Mount Washington on the approach to Lions Head

Cairn marking the summit of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park

Random cairn on the top of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park

09-01-2010, 07:33 PM
Katahdin Summit Cairn
http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/307/picture094k.jpg (http://img248.imageshack.us/i/picture094k.jpg/)

Along Tuckerman Ravine Trail, Mount Washington
http://img176.imageshack.us/img176/2681/dsc00730ay.jpg (http://img176.imageshack.us/i/dsc00730ay.jpg/)

Greenleaf Trail up Mount Lafayette (same cairn, 3 angles)
http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/6042/dsc00979ut.jpg (http://img6.imageshack.us/i/dsc00979ut.jpg/)
http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/8804/dsc00981k.jpg (http://img64.imageshack.us/i/dsc00981k.jpg/)
http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/3474/dsc00980s.jpg (http://img811.imageshack.us/i/dsc00980s.jpg/)

Those are my best cairn shots, I have a lot of other ones but there are either people posing with the cairns or they are small cairns.

09-01-2010, 08:41 PM
As soon as I read the title and who originally posted this, I knew it was ALL about you and that Tattoo....

09-02-2010, 09:36 AM
Here are 3 cairn shots. All are on Lafayette, and believe it or not, were all taken on the same day.




I'm pretty sure I have lots more, just not on this computer.

09-02-2010, 09:50 AM
Those are my best cairn shots, I have a lot of other ones but there are either people posing with the cairns or they are small cairns.

Small ones are good too! Sometimes the simplest ones are the most elegant.

As soon as I read the title and who originally posted this, I knew it was ALL about you and that Tattoo....

Ha! You seem to know me too well!

09-02-2010, 11:01 AM
This one was notable...not ncessarily the biggest, but somewhat touching...


Summit of Zealand Cairn

09-02-2010, 01:46 PM

And one out on the Harbor Island here in Boston:


Jimmy Legs and Little d
09-03-2010, 08:34 PM
Hey Erich, here's my contributions:



09-03-2010, 09:25 PM
Nice idea.

Here you go:

The Appalachian Trail on Mount Madison:



Mount Adams Summit:


A popular one:


Crawford Path:


09-04-2010, 07:11 PM
This was a great idea Erich - on of my favorite photo subjects in the mountains. Lots of great images so far. Love all the Bates Cairns from Acadia Donna. They are definitely my favorites. I'll be posting my favorites soon too. Need to do some long overdue photo sorting first... Keep 'em coming guys!

Anna LeBlanc
09-08-2010, 02:51 PM
Here are a few of my favorites:

Gary explaining to Nigel what a cairn is on Crotched Mt,NH:


The cairns on the way to the firetower on the summit of Mt Cardigan:


Colleen and Linus and Gary and Nigel amongst the cairns on the summit of Mt.Peirce:


09-11-2010, 06:04 PM
These are awesome photos. I love the winter ones that jmorrison518 posted.

Here are some shots I have, not half as good as ones that have already been posted:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs400.snc4/46280_1420030378303_1158978130_31025323_6296890_n. jpg
Smallest cairn ever on the Sugarloaf Trail...something tells me it wasn't an "official" cairn :)

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs035.ash2/35108_1383158056518_1158978130_30928105_6198198_n. jpg
All the cairns in Acadia I saw were bridge type structures...and they all had signs saying that cairns were to help hikers find the trail and not to disturb them...why not just use the sign?

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs035.ash2/35108_1383158096519_1158978130_30928106_1171164_n. jpg
Close up of the sign from above

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs327.snc3/28967_1318796847528_1158978130_30778016_8173738_n. jpg
My favorite cairns of all were the cairns on the carraige road, near the Moosilauke summit...very tall and organized...looked like they were puzzle pieces put in exact locations. Here is the best picture I have of them...lots of rime ice on them too.


09-11-2010, 09:47 PM
As I said before, Erich managed to pick one of my favorite photo subjects. Cairns have always held a particular fascination for me when hiking. They seem to be half art and half practical function. Here are a few from my collection.

One of the many beautiful cairns in the Alpine Garden.

This is also one of the magical places where the cairns stretch along a path that leads all the way to the horizon

There are many that mark spots with great memories

And those that mark summit celebrations

Occasionally Mother Nature tries her hand at enhancing their art

Sometimes they show up in unexpected places like on the Rhode Island shore

And then there are the times when they serve the purpose of keeping us on the path

As well as times where they serve as a resting place for a traveler

My favorite of all cairns are the "Bates cairns" in Acadia NP. They have a unique character and art form about them that truly makes them unique. Here's their story: http://www.americantrails.org/resources/ManageMaintain/Cairns-Acadia.html


And today on 9/11 as the flags flew on the 48 in memory of those that lost their lives nine years ago my thoughts returned to that memoriam spent on Mt Jackson two years ago with a flag, a friend and a cairn.

So as Erich began this thread and as others have added their pictures and stories it's clear that we should never be able to look at one of these and just see a pile of rocks ever again.

My complete cairn collection is here: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42/Cairns#

09-12-2010, 05:36 AM
cool thread!

here's one from the summit of North Moat Mtn., one of my favorite places...


09-12-2010, 07:45 AM
Mark, great pics and story along with each one. The Acadia article is great. I didn't know they had a particular history to them when I saw them a couple months back. Your Flags of the 48 on Jackson is one of my favorites you posted...but all are great.

Patrick, I get a "forbidden" page when I click on your link...any chance I can get access so I can see the image?


09-14-2010, 09:23 PM
Mt. Washington

09-29-2010, 11:57 PM
Here one I saw last Nov on caps RIdge Trail (going to Mt. Jefferson)

09-30-2010, 10:08 AM
Great pics Mark! I new there were some "stylish" cairns out there, but never knew the story behind those. I sense a trip to Acadia to go cairn hunting coming up. :)