Archaeological Hikes: Vacations That Impact

Archaeological hiking has been growing in popularity as a pastime in recent years, with hikers using these hiking trips to get the exercise that they want while visiting venues that let them glimpse the remnants of civilizations long gone. Much of the same hiking gear is used for these archeology hikes as would be used in other popular hiking destinations, with LED lights or headlamps being an essential piece of hiking equipment for hikes at night and sunscreen, multipurpose tools and water for the daytime.

Defining Archaeological Hiking

An archaeological hiking trip is one that visits outdoor venues which bear some archaeological significance. These venues may feature paintings, carvings, or etchings in the walls of caves or other stone, showing off the artistic accomplishments of an ancient people. Other archeology hikes may visit famous locations throughout history, letting hikers walk through the footsteps of history and walk the same paths that indigenous people once walked. Some hikers on archeology hikes may choose to use the minimal amount of hiking gear that could still be considered safe in order to better recreate the feeling of being there when the history of the location was first created.

Popular Archaeological Destinations

In the United States, there are a number of popular destinations of archaeological hiking that show off the history of the country and its Native American inhabitants. Sites such as Range Creek Canyon in Utah let visitors see the paintings and etchings of these Native Americans, showing off the hunting practices and early beliefs of these early people. Crow Canyon, Nevada is also a popular destination for archeology hikes, allowing visitors to see the remnants of the Navajo civilization and the culture that they had created in what many would consider to be inhospitable lands. Other destinations that are frequented by hikers with an interest in archeology include sections of Oregon and Washington that were inhabited by the Native Americans of the northwest as well as sections of the Trail of Tears, the Oregon Trail, and the route taken by Louis and Clark when exploring the United States.

Archaeological Hiking Tips

There are a number of tips that you should keep in mind when going on an archeology hike. Make sure that you take the proper hiking equipment for the terrain that you will be traversing, including the appropriate clothing for the weather that you will be expecting. Include LED lights in with your hiking gear so that you will be able to see while setting up camp or visiting certain archaeological sites at night. Another important tip is to make sure that you don't disturb any of the sites that you visit, as they have immense importance both to archaeologists and other hikers; make sure that you don't take anything from the site and that you don't use hiking gear that might damage the artifacts contained there. By avoiding making any sort of an impact on the site you will help to ensure that other hikers will be able to enjoy the same sort of hikes for years to come.

~Ben Anton, 2008


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