Rock Stacking – Art or Criminal Activity?

We recently camped at Illinois State Beach Park. There were an abundance of these river rocks… (um, lake rocks?) that we were finding on our walks that we just had to have! After returning to our campsite after each walk, barely able to keep our pants above our waists because of our new-found treasures filling our pockets… We started looking at our bounty. Maybe we need the Lake Michigan Rock Pickers Guide. Just what the heck were we going to do with all of these?!?


We found a lot of other folks enjoyed making art from the rocks.


Even Mother Nature faked us out with the moss rock. There was no rock under it.

We kept futzing around with them and started stacking them… Hmmm rock stacking…. I remember seeing guys doing this in crazy conditions like rivers or on the side of mountains. This turned out to be a great distraction from the world and a lesson in keeping calm, cool and steady!


First, start easy. One big stack. Check. Then go for some wings to build other stacks from. Then build more stacks!


We played this somewhat like Jenga, however we didn’t take any off. If it toppled, you drank.

Like we need an excuse to drink…..


We got better as the weekend progressed. Maybe the liquor kept our nerves steady πŸ˜‰


Styles of Rock-Stacking

  • Pure balance – each rock in near-point balance
  • Counterbalance – lower rocks depend on the weight of upper rocks to maintain balance
  • Balanced stacking – rocks lain flat upon each other to great height
  • Free style – mixture of the two above; may include arches and sandstone.

Here’s some professionals at work:

Although, there is a dark side that is working against the innocent rock stackers of the world. While researching for this post, I stumbled upon a group that is AGAINST rock-stacking! Really? Do you think the Peruvian officials sent out warrants for the builders of the Nazca Lines? What about the builders of Stonehenge? Should we criminalize their acts and because of this, destroy the history to restore the rocks to their original location? Please. Heaven forbid they go after the true, evil rock stackers of the world, the builders of structures that ruin the planet!

Both Fern U. Quiseley and Stacy O. Buffume are not satisfied with just speaking out against the practice of rock stacking. Their organization has been approved to receive a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of a recent stimulus package in addition to a recent $2.5 million UNESCO grant to help establish citizen action committees and organize activists and volunteers around the world to educate the public about the dangers of rock stacking. The grant application also states that they hope to educate citizens to help β€œβ€¦document violations, identify serial violators, and assist local authorities with enforcement action against violators.”

Are you fooking serious? My tax dollars going to the prevention of rock stacking????

Shoot me now.

Β© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

34 thoughts on “Rock Stacking – Art or Criminal Activity?

  1. I see rock stacking as interesting, mind challenging, creative and a little recreational. The beauty of it, to me, is that it can be unstacked/knocked down if desired…….. or left to nature to eventually take care of it which would probably be within a few days from creation.
    In stark contrast is Graffiti! While I acknowledge and applaud the creativity and obvious ability of many graffiti artists, I have zero tolerance to using another person’s property as the canvas. That is simply showing no respect for property and is totally irresponsible. Graffiti should be heavily penalized, but rock stacking???? Hardly in the same category! πŸ™‚


  2. I love this! What a wonderful way to spend your weekend – and your mini stacks were becoming quite creative. However, the one at the end really is fantastic! – and I agree! How on earth can people be spending money to stop this Art?? If the stack looks like it might topple (like oh so many Natural rock formations) then don’t go near it!!


  3. Few points: very Zen – very cool – great excuse to drink (if you need one) is it compulsory to remove your nail polish or were they someone else’s fingers – maybe you can stack but you have to unstack if it’s big ’nuff to fall and kill someone. Loved the pics.


    • I think that was my hubby’s digits without the polish.. moi without polish? You’ve got the wrong girl!
      Ok. I guess that is a good argument. . As long as the stacks aren’t large enough to kill anyone, we’ll keep stacking πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Have the politician in Washington gone stark raving mad? What a waste of tax payers money to fund a needless and mindless project. Somebody pulled the wool of the ;politicos eyes and will be living off government money while pretending to work on a project that has zero meaning, does not affect the environment, and, is entertaining for the public.

    I’m sorry but I envy those rocks that you photographed. I would give my eye teeth to have some of those gorgeous rocks. I don’t see anything around here that comes close to the beauty of the rocks that you and your man were stacking.

    Loved this post. Very nice.


  5. On the way to Alaska on the Alaska Highway, they “stack” rocks by making word art out of them – things like wishing happy birthday to someone, cheering on a team, etc. It was so much fun to watch these “billboards” in the middle of nowhere!


  6. Pingback: Cave in Rock State Park | Midwestern Plants

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