National Take a Hike Day | Leave No Trace | Desert Botanical Garden


Fall, especially in the desert, is a spectacular time to get outside and explore nature. While the summer heat keeps most Arizonans inside, lower temperatures introduce a rejuvenated excitement to explore local parks and trails.

If you are considering celebrating National Take a Hike Day on Nov. 17, the Garden encourages everyone to practice the seven ‘leave no trace’ principles:

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What you Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Others.

Practice the ‘leave what you find’ principle with a nature rubbing activity. 

For this activity, you will need:

  • Paper
  • Pencil, crayons or chalk
  • Natural objects like leaves, twigs, rocks, trees, tree bark, etc.

Nature Tracing Materials

After gathering the materials above, head outside to a park or trail to find a natural object to record.

After you have found a natural object, place the paper over it and rub your pencil, crayon or chalk over the paper.

Chalk Nature Tracing

Crayon Nature Tracing

Tree Tracing

Tree Tracing

After you have one rubbing, find another object and follow the same steps but place the rubbing next to the first.

Now that you have two different rubbings, compare them. Do you see similarities? Any differences?

Nature Tracings

Challenge yourself and find an unusual natural object to get a rubbing.

Taking a closer look at nature with this fun activity helps us focus our observation skills. You may never look at the object you created texture from the same!

On-site programming is currently on hiatus.

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The Garden is hiring full, part-time and seasonal roles.  Apply now or visit our Job Fairs on Sept. 24 & Oct. 9.