Petrified Forest Trail - Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

Petrified logs and tree stumps line the trail that loops around Escalante Petrified Forest State Park.


The trail to the petrified forest begins at the south edge of the campground and parking lot. An opening in the stone wall leads to the red and white sandy trail that heads up along switchbacks. Numbered signs mark the trail. The first half-mile is an uphill trudge that eventually reaches the top of a mesa. Juniper trees cover the area as the trail flattens and heads west. Keep your eyes low to find the petrified logs and tree stumps. They are brown, but shimmer with color. The town of Escalante can also be seen in the distance. At marker 11, the path connects to the Trail of Sleeping Rainbows. The trail becomes more difficult here as it descends toward a large rock face with a small cave. After 1 mile, the trail hits a cliff overlooking a small horseshoe valley. Turn left and head up the steep sandy trail. At mile 1.5 (marker 12), the trail flattens again and reconnects to the Petrified Forest Trail. Follow it around and back down the switchbacks to the trailhead. Fees: $5

Getting there: From the town of Escalante, drive west one mile on State Road 12. Turn right into the state park and trailhead parking.


-- Photo and text by Jason Bergreen, graphic by Amy Lewis/The Salt Lake Tribune

Region: Southern Utah

Destination: Loop

Distance: 2

Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Elevation Gain: 274 feet

Dog Allowed: Yes

Restrooms: Yes

Biking: N/A

GPS Location: 37.1930381, -113.0527196

Difficulty: 3


First published 2008-10-10