This was my 14th high point that I scored. The hike was very easy to start off with. when you get to the actual climb you need to kinda look for the trail, there are a few of them that makes you think you are and then aren't. I came up one trail and came down another. but left the same way i came to the base of the butte. The view from the top was amazing, and seeing the different color of sediments was pretty awesome. Wildflowers were just coming out, so I got to see some awesome wildflowers that usually aren't seen. I almost lost my shoes twice in the white soil (i forget the actual name besides the fact that there is calcium in there) If it looks wet, don't step on it, you will sink. Literally slick as snot. I did my hike early in the morning to avoid snakes (because i had read many accounts of people seeing rattlesnakes while doing this summit). Also there is a mail box, the land own does want a some money as a contribution of opening up his land for hikers to enjoy. So do show your thanks and appreciation for what he didn't have to do for us to enjoy. Everything I read is $5 dollars is what was written as a donation.
THIS WAS SUCH A GREAT HIKE! I did the painted canyon trail at the start of the morning, and talked to a girl at the visitor center and she recommended me this trail. She said that she usually walks the trail in a little over 2 hours. I thought she was crazy. But this trail brought you through the petrified forest. up to the top of the prairie grasslands, and down into the badlands. Seeing all the petrified forest was amazing how much there was just out here. Seeing the Missouri River from down below and the colors of the sediments was incredible. Then hiking the last third of the trail through the badlands was pretty awesome. The terrain had a couple steep moments, but they were just hills, nothing to complain about. If i would of see a bison or two in the prairie area I think would of made the most of this whole trail.
This was a nice warm up hike before i did some more hiking in the area. dropping in and coming out of the canyon wasn't hard at all. It didn't even seem like a 1.1 mile hike while doing it. It was awesome to see the different sediments up close, and being up close with nature with the interstate being right behind you.
Start this hike at the Nature Trail and then continue on. Trail markers are minimal so know your path before you go. Difficult loop to complete in part due to high temp when we went, largely exposed through hike, a few areas had tree cover. Saw Bison herd in the distance and one within 50 to 100 yards after mistakenly turning onto a closed trail while on the northern portion of the loop...We returned back slowly, keep your distance from these guys.
If you are completing the trail in the direction listed, you will climb out of an area with minimal tree cover, up a steep hill where you will T into a beautiful ridge line. We took a brief left which is incorrect and was where we saw the single bison sitting on what used to be a trail...instead take a right at the T and shortly after you will see a trail marker, continue on. From here on you'll have ridgeline views for quite some time.
Eventually, you'll cross the road that goes through the park, continue on to the River Bend overlook, a great place to stop for lunch. To continue back to your starting point, pass the parking lot and continue on the trail, directly next to the road at first before it bends away from the road.
Watch your footing and trail markers as there are portions here where you are on relatively smooth rock surfaces and social trails that lead to nowhere. At the end of the trail you will descend down a hill for a while, then cross the road to the parking lot where you started.
Todd H. on Petrified Forest Trail
There is a lot of petrified wood to look at on this trail which is interesting. Portions of the area are maybe like the surface of the moon or something.
Todd H. on Caprock Coulee Nature Trail
This hike was pretty mediocre. Not too much exciting to say about it. Some nice views on some parts probably best thing.
Wonderful trail with amazing views. Minimal trail maintenance. The trail is too small in width and has some relief where "off road strollers" (BOBs) for those parents with younger ones are not suggested. Suggest child carrier instead. Bring bug spray and expect to get your boots/shoes muddy in the low areas. Do not miss out on this opportunity!
Super pretty trail. If you start through the lowlands it doesn't seem like much, but after about a mile you climb to the top of a hill and then hike a ridge. There's a bit of a rock scramble that's not well marked and when it's windy it adds some excitement to the hike, to say the least.
Doug S. on Painted Canyon Nature Trail
Beautiful. Kg and Laney loved it.