Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, Escalante

#4 of 12 in Nature in Escalante
State Park · Nature / Park
Escalante Petrified Forest State Park (also known as Escalante State Park) is a state park of Utah, USA, located a half-mile (0.8 km) north of the town of Escalante. A visitor center was built in 1991, and features displays of plant and marine fossils, petrified wood and fossilized dinosaur bones over 150 million years old (Upper Jurassic Period). The Petrified Forest Trail is a one-mile (1.6 km) loop, winding up the side of a mesa to the top where most of the fossil wood occurs. Logs two feet or more in diameter are seen at several places along the trail where it is eroding from the conglomerate capping the mesa. This conglomerate lies near the top of the Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison Formation. The wood is multicolored (mostly red, yellow, white, and black) and was prized by hobbyists before the Park was established. The logs are believed to be of conifers that were transported by a river before being buried and later fossilized as agate. A 50 foot (15m) log is displayed near the trail head and is one of the most complete fossil logs known from the Morrison Formation.

The Sleeping Rainbows trail is an optional .75-mile (1.21 km) loop off the Petrified Forest Trail. This section is much steeper and requires scrambling and climbing over rocks.
In 1954 Wide Hollow Reservoir was constructed to provide irrigation for the town of Escalante. The reservoir is stocked with rainbow trout and bluegill, and is popular for water sports including swimming, boating and fishing.

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Escalante Petrified Forest State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
322 reviews
  • Well worth visiting if you are in the area. There are trails to hike and if you look carefully you will find little collections of petrified rock scattered all over the ground not too far from the...  more »
  • You do have to hike up the hillside to see the best stuff. Setting out at noon on a blazing hot June day probably wasn’t the best, but we liked what we saw. There is a 50 foot tree near the parking....  more »

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