File this story under “some people are the worst.”

In a lengthy Facebook post Friday, Mesa Verde National Park said someone used prehistoric charcoal from an archaeological site to rub names onto a sandstone wall – and that’s just one way clueless visitors are vandalizing the park.

“Not only did this/these individuals vandalize the cliff side,” the Facebook post reads, “they destroyed archaeological artifacts to do so.”

Graffiti found etched in sandstone boulders on the Knife Edge Trail, located near Morefield Campground.    

In another case, the park says letters and shapes were carved into “prehistoric grinding slicks” on one popular trail – causing permanent damage to historic artifacts.

Letters and shapes carved into prehistoric grinding slicks on the Petroglyph Point Trail, permanently damaging these artifacts.

Another photo shows visitors apparently stacking their own rock cairns. Sure, these formations might be kind of cool, but most hikers know that cairns like these are often used as trail markers – meaning that building your own may lead people off the trail and into danger.

And finally, Mesa Verde says people have started painting rocks to use as a “social media scavenger hunt.” One rock they showed a picture of has #918Rocks and the Facebook logo painted on a piece of sandstone.

“Leaving these rocks in National Parks is considered littering and a form of vandalization, is disrespectful and is illegal,” the Facebook post reads.

The Facebook post goes on to say that the paint, glitter or whatever else is used to decorate these rocks damages natural soils and could also make animals and insects sick.

Beyond that, people don’t go to nature to see your darn hashtags!

A more recent phenomenon appearing in National Park sites are painted rocks used for a social media scavenger hunt.

Or your name carved into rock, which is another problem the park is facing.

If you see someone disrespecting Mesa Verde National Park, the Facebook post says to go to the nearest Park Ranger or staff in the chief ranger’s office.

Graffiti found etched in sandstone boulders on the Knife Edge Trail, located near Morefield Campground.

Let’s keep Colorado colorful! And, to see the amazing place that people are disrespecting, check out our story "Rediscovering Mesa Verde National Park:"


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