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Marking the Way in the Backcountry

Hikers need trail markers when the path is not obvious. In rocky backcountry terrain, trails often wind through areas where only a small amount of soil covers the bedrock, making it difficult to install markers.

Photo of a trail marker installed using the rock basket method.

To help recreation crews install permanent trail markers, SDTDC developed design criteria and tested four types of anchoring systems: rock basket (least complex), stake anchor, holddown anchor, and the metal-post base anchor (most complex).

The report, Anchoring Trail Markers and Signs in Rocky Areas (0523–1202P–SDTDC), provides instructions and materials lists for installing trail markers and signposts without the use of heavy tools and equipment.

For additional information about anchoring trail markers and signs in rocky areas, contact L’Tanga Watson, project leader (phone: 909–599–1267, ext. 296; e-mail:

To order the report, contact Kene Owu, SDTDC publications (phone: 909–599–1267, ext. 235; e-mail:

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