Where to hide painted rocks

You've painted - now, where to hide your painted rocks!

Painting rocks and placing them for someone else to find is an awesome random act of kindness. After you paint a rock, it's up to you where you hide it.

While there aren’t necessarily rules around hiding your painted rock, we suggest using common sense and following some general guidelines.

Remember, the whole point is for someone to find your rock and see where your rock travels, so places like on a park bench, on a picnic table at the playground or on the ledge outside your favorite store or library are fun spots. And, when you’re packing for vacation or for a road trip, toss a few rocks in your bag to see where they travel!


Tips when hiding painted rocks

  • Keep others’ safety in mind (humans & critters!)
  • As fun as it might sound to prop your rock in the limb of a tree, a critter might mistake it for food and it might fall and hurt someone below.
  • Think about the person finding your rock. Don’t put them in a dangerous situation to retrieve your rock. That’s the opposite of passing along a smile!
  • When it comes to hiding rocks, make sure to adhere to local property rules and laws. For example, many zoos, museums, theme parks, hospitals and national parks prohibit rocks being hidden on their premises. Have fun hiding rocks, but be respectful.
At the base of a lamp post is a fun spot to hide a painted rock

Fun places to hide painted rocks where they're sure to be found

  • On a bench at a playground
  • Outside of your favorite store or restaurant
  • At the library (though, check first if they're okay with you hiding inside)
  • At the entrance of a rest stop - think of all the places people might be traveling to and where your rock might end up!

Follow the journey of your painted rocks

Your painted rocks are out there making others smile and spreading kindness as they travel. If you'd like to follow the journey of your painted rock, make sure to Get an ID from GoRock.com and add to your rock. You'll get a notification when it's found and can see on a map where it has traveled.

Plus, those who find your painted rocks might leave heartwarming stories, like these:

This painted rock with a rainbow heart was painted in celebration of diversity for Pride Month.


Places you should avoid hiding painted rocks

  • In the grass. This can pose a danger if a lawn mower runs over the rock.
  • Inside of a store. Every store is different, but some stores have asked that painted rocks not be placed inside the store. On a security camera, it's difficult to determine if someone is taking merchandise or picking up a painted rock. Also, painted rocks placed on or near food can be considered a contaminant.
  • Inside of a hospital - certainly placing a rock outside of the entrance will brighten someone's day, but many hospitals have asked that painted rocks not be hidden inside.
  • Some amusement parks have asked that painted rocks not be brought inside of the park.
  • State and National parks. People visit these parks to experience nature, untouched. #LeaveNoTrace More info about this topic.

Have a fun place you've placed a painted rock? Share below! 

18 thoughts on “Where to hide painted rocks”

  1. Pingback: Hiding rocks during winter – GoRock.com | Painted rock ideas

  2. This is going to be so fun to do with my niece and nephew for a Homeschooling project! I live right next to a public walking trail, so we can hide a couple along the edge of the trail, as well as in other hiking areas since we live in the country, near many hiking/biking/walking trails.

  3. How fun, Nancy! Painting rocks is not only a fun activity, but your niece and nephew will also get a bit of a geography lesson when they see on a map where their rocks travel. And, a mini math lesson when they see the distance their rocks travel. And, a mini social studies lesson when they read the stories left by those who find your rocks, helping them understand that setting out that painted rock was a random act of kindness that put a smile on someone’s face. Happy painting! 🎨

  4. Yes! GoRock has many members throughout Australia. Lots of pride coming through in the designs – koalas, kangaroos, city skylines, Aboriginal art that really tells stories. All wonderful to see.

  5. Just painted a rock with a nice message. Gonna hide it later this afternoon. Hope it puts a smile on someone’s face when they find it. Wonder how far it’ll travel… we’ll find out soon enough.

    1. Wonderful – thank you for sprinkling a bit of kindness into the world with your painted rocks. Looking forward to seeing where it will travel and spread happiness. 🙂

  6. My rock was dropped off at a weekend music festival! I watched it get picked up and 3 days later it was listed as found! So excited when I saw it was found!

  7. Please, please, STOP putting them in state or national parks. You are not supposed to alter the natural landscape in these parks and parks staff has to spend their limited time cleaning them up when you leave them there. This takes parks staff away from other duties. I work in a state park and we just had to send a crew to clean up a bunch of painted rocks someone left on our trail system this weekend. If you put painted rocks in a state or national park you are most definitely NOT spreading joy and happiness to parks staff.

    1. Thank you for the important reminder. This is something we remind rock painters of all the time. We remind them that people visit state and national parks to enjoy the beauty of nature, untouched. And, most importantly, to Leave No Trace. And, of course, we stress the importance of not removing rocks from state and national parks for painting – that there are responsible places to source rocks for painting, like landscape supply centers. We appreciate everything park rangers do so that we may enjoy nature in its raw state.

  8. I bless the first time I saw the name of GO ROCK. I’ve been collecting rocks for most of my 73 years but it never occurred to paint one. I love them as they are and have never seen an “ugly” rock. LOL However, I am now certain that there are rocks that could surely benefit from a little paint. Can hardly wait to paint my first one. Are you permitted to post your favorite online place to buy the right paint etc.?? Thanks SO much Geo

    1. Geo, we also appreciate the beauty of rocks “as they are”! Though, painting rocks is an activity that allows people to express their creativity. Placing painted rocks for others to find brings an unexpected smile. And, rocks painted with GoRock lead to donations to charity. Here’s a guide we’ve put together with recommendations for where to get painting supplies. Happy painting! https://www.gorock.com/blog/how-to-get-started-rock-painting-tips-supplies/

  9. DON’T leave them in national parks, monuments, forests, grasslands, etc. I just carried back 17 from my trails hike in a National Monument. These are considered litter.

    1. Skippie, we remind rock painters that people visit state and national parks to enjoy the beauty of nature, untouched. And, most importantly, to Leave No Trace. We also stress the importance of not removing rocks from state and national parks for painting and we educate that there are responsible places to source rocks for painting, like landscape supply centers.

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