Tips for Enjoying & Preserving Archaeological Sites

Archaeological sites and artifacts are integral to American history and sacred to Native Americans. By treading softly and leaving things as we find them, we show respect for those who came before us and those who will visit these places after us.


What you can do to protect ancient and sacred places

sherdLEAVE ALL ARTIFACTS: Keep discovery alive. Leave all artifacts where you find them so the next person can share the experience. It’s illegal to move or take any artifact, including historic trash, from public lands. Watch the video here.



petroglyphDON’T TOUCH ROCK ART OR MAKE YOUR OWN: Vandalism of petroglyphs and pictographs erases stories of ancient people and destroys the experience for future visitors.



ruinSTEER CLEAR OF WALLS: Historic and prehistoric structures can be easily damaged. Please refrain from touching, leaning, standing or climbing on any structures, no matter how solid they look. Watch the video here.



kidTEACH KIDS RESPECT: Archaeological sites are not playgrounds. Please teach children respect. Keep a close eye so kids don’t get hurt or accidentally damage the site. Watch the video here. 



dogDOGS ARE BEST OUTSIDE: Keep pets leashed away from archaeology where they won’t dig, poop or cause erosion inside a site. Watch the video here.



campCAMP & EAT OUTSIDE THE SITE: Camping, fires and food can damage the archaeological remains and also spoil the view for other visitors. Watch the video here.



cairnAVOID BUILDING CAIRNS: Keep the landscape natural by leaving only footprints.

Cairns can increase impacts on sensitive sites and are frequently constructed with artifacts like grinding, construction or shrine stones. Watch the video here.

Other tips for visiting places of cultural, historical and scientific value: