2 men filmed hurling, destroying ancient rock formations at Lake Mead

Two men were filmed at Redstone Dune Trail in Lake Mead National Recreation Area as they irreversibly destroyed ancient sandstone formations. Instagram @touronsofyellowstone

Park rangers are searching for two rowdy guests who were filmed toppling and destroying ancient rock formations at the U.S. Lake Mead National Recreation Area this month.

The video triggered outrage as it circulated online, depicting two men on April 7 as they heaved and pushed large chunks of rock off a cliffside along the park’s Redstone Dune Trail in Nevada. Behind them, a young girl can be seen spectating — and occasionally screaming at a man she calls “Daddy.”

As they fall, the federally protected rocks — which are made from 140-million-year-old sand dunes — crumble and are pulverized.

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On Sunday, Lake Mead’s National Park Service (NPS) shared a photo of the men and asked the public for help to identify “two vandalism suspects.”

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They encouraged those with information to submit a tip, either online at or by phone (888-653-0009).

“You don’t have to tell us who you are, but please tell us what you know,” NPS wrote.

According to NPS, the impressive, coppery rock formations at Redstone Dune Trail were formed over time as geological forces turned the loose dunes into hard sandstone.

John Haynes, public information officer for the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, said damage to the sandstone is irreversible.

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In a statement to local news station KVVU-TV, Haynes called the behaviour “pretty appalling” and “kind of disgusting.”

“That’s so beautiful, it’s one of my favourite places in the park and they’re up there just destroying it. I don’t understand that,” he said.

Since six million people visit the massive national park annually, Haynes said park rangers often rely on other visitors to report bad behaviour.

He said the men, if found guilty, could face a six-month jail sentence and a fine of US$5,000 (about C$6,880).

Click to play video: 'Severe drought leads to grim discoveries in Lake Mead'
Severe drought leads to grim discoveries in Lake Mead

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