Petrified Forest Interpretive Trail

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Custer Gallatin National Forest

Petrified Forest Interpretive Trail is a 2.1 mile out and back trail located near Emigrant, Montana that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 2.1 miles Elevation Gain: 643 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly




washed out
2 months ago

It's not hard, but the trail markers aren't easy to spot if you go in spring when there is mudslides and snow. There is a longer hike to here from the other side, just can't remember the name of that one

It was a lot steeper than I expected based on the trail we made a wrong turn up the hill to get on top the conglomerate rocks. it was steep and didn't seem to have any good petrified wood on the top of the cliffs. It is really sad to see that a lot of the logs and cool rocks have been chipped away. I expected to see a lot more petrified stumps. It is a pretty hike. And fun to do.

off trail
washed out
11 months ago

Beautiful views, but the trail was tough to follow towards the top. Lots of erosion from flash floods made finding the trail nearly impossible at certain points. We lost the trail numerous times. Also quite steep near the end.

Mon Aug 13 2018

The trail has a little bit of everything. The possibility of a bear encounter, creek, treasures to find(and put back) like petrified wood, obsidian..., cows blocking your path on your way there(from pray), low traffic(we only saw one other couple on the path). I recommend climbing up to the peak of that area, it’s a bit scary if you are a newbs like us. We did find two pieces of petrified wood, we put them back right where we found them. To give you a hint, at one of the info signs, there’s a path that leads to a creek, it’s to the right of that path in the grass. The other piece we found looked like petrified wood that was also charcoal. It’s up on the taller peak. The creaking of the gate to enter the trail is creepy sounding like in a movie. I found wild raspberries on the trail that were delicious, there were also bane berries that are toxic, don’t eat those. I’ll add some images from our hike. Also, I’m on Verizon and I got zero bars most of the trail, one bar in the parking lot.

Sun Jul 02 2017

Very neat little hike; however for a short distance hike it was strenuous and harder than I expected.

Sun Aug 14 2016

My 11year old daughter says "this trail was awesome!" The 1 1/2 year old walked the first part but then had to go in the backpack once we started climbing. The exposure at the top is NOT toddler friendly. We found some treasures to take home after obtaining a permit from the friendly camp ground host. We will be coming back. Originally we we're planning for a quick trip but ended up spending all day exploring! Remember to bring the bear spray.

Mon Jul 25 2016

Beautiful hike

Sun Jun 07 2015

This was a nice hike with amazing views. It was a bit steep once you get to the top but not to bad. I was a bit on the nervous side as I had a toddler on my back but it was doable. I will be doing it again. oh and you do need a permit if you want to collect any rocks there.

Wed Jan 15 2014

Fun interruptive trail. Good family trip.

10 months ago

Wed Aug 29 2018

Sun Aug 26 2018

Sat Jul 28 2018