Archaeological Site Etiquette
Follow these rules of conduct while visiting our precious archaeological sites scattered throughout canyon country.
All archaeological and historic sites are protected by the Archaeological Resources Protection Act which provides felony and/or misdemeanor prosecution with imprisonment up to ten years and fines up to $250,000.
- Do not climb, sit, or stand on walls. Walls are fragile and continue to deteriorate.
- Do not pick up, move, or remove artifacts. Artifacts, where they lay, tell a story. Once they are moved, a piece of the past is forever lost.
- Do not add anything (such as offerings) to a site. Cultural deposits, including the soil on a site, are important for scientific tests used in reconstructing past environments.
- No fires, candles, smudging, or smoking in sites. Fire destroys prehistoric organic materials and destroys the dating potential of artifacts. Camping is not allowed.
- Refrain from touching the rock art. Drawing, scratching, carving, painting, and oil from even the cleanest hands can cause deterioration of the drawings.
- Stay on trails. Fragile desert plants and soils that are part of a site are destroyed when you stray from the trail. Also, snakes and other small desert animals may be in the bushes, under rocks, and in burrows. No bicycles and vehicles beyond the parking lot.
- No pets allowed in these sites. Animals damage sites by digging, urinating, and defecating. They can destroy fragile cultural deposits and frighten other visitors.
If you see anyone vandalizing a site, report it as soon as possible to a park ranger or by contacting local authorities or by calling the Archaeological Resources Protection Act Hotline at 800-227-7286.