Many hikers are busy climbing the 14,000-foot summits this summer in Colorado, but some are leaving behind a giant mess.
Colorado's 'fourteeners' are mountains that rise above 14,000 feet in elevation. With more than 50 of them spread around the state, summiting as many as possible has become a popular challenge. To share their success with friends and family, many hikers carry cardboard signs to hold during a summit photograph. Often times, these signs get left behind, creating litter at one of the most remote and difficult to clean spots in the state.
Reddit user 'YetiFromJersey' spoke out after cleaning up nearly a dozen of the cardboard signs stating, "please clean up your summit signs."
Cardboard signs, toasters, blenders, dirty underwear, golf clubs, collapsed tents, and stuffed animals are among the piles of garbage cleaned up on Colorado 14ers, according to a report from 9News.
"C'mon folks! Leave no trace! Thousands of people walk up 14ers every year. Don't leave trash on the mountain tops or anywhere in the great outdoors. If you pack it in, pack it out," stated Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) in a tweet.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, discarded face masks are also turning up along with other trash in widely used state parks and national forests, according to CPW.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife also recently shared a tweet from a dirty park in another state.
Leave it better than you found it. That's the number one rule for keeping it beautiful.
This is an actual photo from one of our restrooms. When something like this happens, we may have to close the facility & it takes much longer for it to reopen. Please help us maintain our facilities. #RecreateResponsibly & practice @leavenotrace outdoor ethics. pic.twitter.com/f50fCOffXz— Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region (@usfs_r5) August 6, 2020
While it's a sad reminder to "Leave No Trace," putting these images on display raise awareness of the garbage being pulled off the mountain.
Editor's Note: Do not destroy what you've set out to explore. Do not leave anything on the mountain. If you pack it in, pack it out! Respect wildlife, stay on trail, and keep it beautiful for others to enjoy!