Petrified Forest Nature Trail

MODERATE 33 reviews

Petrified Forest Nature Trail is a 1.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Escalante, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

1.9 miles
492 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips




wild flowers


22 days ago

Extremely fun trail with great views of the lake and Escalante. The trail is fairly steep in places and is quite rocky as it ascends to the top of a plateau. The normal loop provides some views of petrified wood, but the best wood is on the .75 mile Rainbow loop extension, which drops off the plateau the climbs back up onto it. While slightly more strenuous than the climb to the plateau, the views of the wood and the landscape are totally worth it. The informational pamphlet is worth reading also, as it gives good info on the nature surrounding the trail. I saw about 20 deer on the top of the plateau. Highly recommend this trail with the Rainbow Loop Extension.

1 month ago

Awesome hike! Nice gradual but quick uphill to begin the hike. Levels out to a nice high-desert alpine ridge. Take the extra 3/4 rainbow loop for a much more intimate look with the petrified forest, but be ready to get the blood pumping a little bit on the way back up.

After the 3/4 loop it can get confusing to get back to the main trail since everything starts looking like trails through the pines, but you'll eventually see the way back to the parking lot once you're on top of the ridge looking out into the reservoir!

Worth the $8.

3 months ago

Rainbow Loop is a must! Regular nature hike path has some petrified wood but the added on 3/4 mile Rainbow Loop had much more to see and enjoy. It was well worth the add on! Without it, I’m unsure if I would have scored but a 2 or 3. When in doubt, hike it out!

8 months ago

Very nice short hike. Definitely the hike to do if u want to see petrified wood. You should always combine with the Sleeping Rainbow loop. Beautiful colors.

9 months ago

Good educational trail and the petrified woods are amazing! Good for kids, nice view of the reservoir from the top.

9 months ago

very nice, recommend taking time and read the pamphlet they give you. great views all around the top.

10 months ago

Beautiful views of the lake, with lots of petrified wood along the trail. Short enough trail for the younger kids. Bring water, not a lot of shade and make sure you grab a trail guide on the way up to identify the markers.

10 months ago

Very nice views on this well marked informative trail. Did not hike the Rainbow extension

11 months ago

Great walk with amazing whole tree sections of petrified wood. Do the upper loop if you can.

11 months ago

Great hike with beautiful views. Lots of petrified wood to see. Do both loops.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Surprising little hike. I've been to the Petrified Forest NP. This is more condensed but the petrified wood is every bit as interesting. The plus here is that it is not that visited and there is a bit of elevation change. The NP is flat. If you go, make sure you take the Sleeping Rainbow loop. There are more colorful pieces there and is well worth the extra hiking. The $8 admission was a bit of a surprise. They had a lone state employee taking $ and giving out maps. Still, the $ are for preservation and I am good with it.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Super fun hike! A bit of a climb at the beginning, but overall it is a short hike with very cool scenery.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Very pretty. Was surprise you had to pay the $8 to get in the park, even if only hiking trail. It was very pretty. Make sure you hike the sleeping rainbow part. That is the best part.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Trail was great! Initial climb out from parking lot was the hardest section on this part of the trail. Partway up the trail, there's an intersection with another, more strenuous loop called the Sleeping Rainbow Loop (actually, I forget the name, but it's rainbow something). It's much steeper, but this is where you will find the majority of the petrified trees in this park. I would HIGHLY recommend if you do this trail to also embark on the Rainbow loop as well. It adds an additional 0.6 miles to the hike but is very much worth it.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

In the winter, there isn't enough foot traffic to pack down the snow or keep the trail visible, so bring a compass. My search for petrified trees was a bust.

scenic driving
Thursday, May 30, 2013

Nice easy trail,
another fine area off Utah Hwy 12!

Friday, May 25, 2012

A great easy hike. The initial climb is a little long, but this is a fun and easy short hike. The petrified wood is great and there are a lot of unique colors you rarely see! The campground here is awesome too, the only showers we got to use while we were out in Utah.

5 months ago

7 months ago

Friday, April 07, 2017

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Friday, June 12, 2015

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