Leave What You Find


The Caucasus is steeped in history, culture, and unparalleled natural beauty. As you hike these trails, you’re not just walking on dirt and rock—you’re treading the pages of a vast, ancient storybook. You’ll encounter remnants of the past and symbols of the area’s rich heritage. But it’s crucial to remember that these tokens of time aren’t souvenirs. 

The old adage take only photos, leave only footprints sums up the ideal approach. The best souvenir is the memory of the place, untouched and unspoiled, preserved in its raw beauty for future generations.



  • Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
  • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
    • From unique flower species that dot the meadows to the elusive creatures that roam its terrain, the Caucasus boasts a diverse range of plant and animal species, some of which are not found anywhere else in the world.
    • Many of the natural and cultural gems you’ll find in the Caucasus lack protective barriers, signs, or surveillance. This lack makes them especially vulnerable. You won’t see many “Do not touch” signs, but that doesn’t mean physical contact is okay. 
  • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
  • Don’t carve or mark on trees, rocks or signs. Refrain from building structures (rock walls, cairns, log structures, etc.) or digging trenches around tents.


Failure to follow these guidelines can lead to: 

  • Damage to historical structures. Physical contact, even with the best intentions, can lead to degradation, wear, and irreversible damage. Chipping off or marking historical or cultural structures not only causes damage, but is also disrespectful to the local community. 
  • Harm to the ecosystem. Disturbing rocks, plants, or other natural objects disrupts the delicate balance of ecosystems.
  • Introduction of non-native plants. By picking up flowers and other plants, you may inadvertently spread their seeds to areas where those plants are non-native, thus altering the ecosystem and harming native species.