• Outdoors Outdoors

Hiker stumbles upon disappointing scene at Arizona waterfall: 'There's one big problem'

"It's sad, because it's so beautiful out here, yet it's full of trash."

"It's sad, because it's so beautiful out here, yet it's full of trash."

Photo Credit: TikTok

One hiker in Arizona saw the beauty of nature when visiting a waterfall, but they also saw the consequences of disrespectful human behavior. 

"I found Willy Wonka's chocolate waterfall," says TikTok user Logan (@logan.roams) at the beginning of a video. In it, he stands at the base of a milky-brown gushing waterfall in the Arizona desert. "But there's one big problem," he continues. "There's trash everywhere."

@logan.roams I found Willy Wonka's chocolate waterfall! But it was littered with trash. Lwts clean it up! #arizona #waterfall #willywonka #digitalnomad #traveltheworld ♬ original sound - Logan

Panning around the banks of the river, Logan shows all the garbage, ranging from bright yellow plastic containers to aerosol deodorant cans, a rusty wheel, and even basketballs.

"It's sad," he says, "because it's so beautiful out here, yet it's full of trash."

Unsightly piles of trash seem to go hand-in-hand with some of the country's most beautiful natural vistas. With visitor numbers more than twice what they were 30 years ago, there's another type of visitor overstaying its welcome at national parks: garbage.

According to the National Park Service, two out of five parkgoers choose to take their trash with them when they leave. There are plenty of places to dispose of waste properly inside the parks, but instead, many people scatter it on the ground, which is how it finds its way to places like this waterfall.

Not only does the sight of garbage ruin an otherwise pristine natural sight, but trash — especially ever-present plastic waste — is dangerous to human visitors and local wildlife.

Discarded trash leaches toxins into the environment, which affects soil and plants, and also harbors bacteria and disease-carrying parasites

🗣️ Should national parks be allowed to ban visitors for bad behavior?

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Most litter, especially plastic, doesn't break down over time or at all. Animals also often eat brightly colored garbage, which leads them to starve to death with stomachs full of trash.

Instead, anyone enjoying nature should follow the principles of Leave No Trace, including recycling, skipping single-use plastics, and generally working to keep shared spaces beautiful and trash-free.

In the case of this waterfall, commenters applauded Logan's efforts to clean up the trash. "Amazing!" one wrote.

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