Petrified Forest

Tower, Wyoming

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The Petrified Forest on Specimen Ridge, extending over 40 square miles, contains one of the most extensive petrified forests in the world. Lava flows engulfed and entombed the deciduous forest 50 million years ago, preserving the still-standing ancient remains. Among the specimens are redwoods, sycamores, oaks, and maples. This hike is the shortest route to the Petrified Forest and is brutally steep. The trail climbs nearly straight up the ridge with little finesse. The impressive fossilized forest and panoramic vistas are worth every step of the steep ascent.

Petrified Forest Professional Review and Guide

"The Petrified Forest on Specimen Ridge, extending over 40 square miles, contains one of the most extensive petrified forests in the world. Lava flows engulfed and entombed the deciduous forest 50 million years ago, preserving the still-standing ancient remains. Among the specimens are redwoods, sycamores, oaks, and maples. This hike is the shortest route to the Petrified Forest and is brutally steep. The trail climbs nearly straight up the ridge with little finesse. The impressive fossilized forest and panoramic vistas are worth every step of the steep ascent."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Tower
Distance: 3.5
Elevation Gain: 1,600 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy to Difficult
Duration: 2 hours
Local Contacts: Yellowstone National Park
Local Maps: USGS Lamar Canyon, Trail Illustrated Tower/Canyon
Driving Directions: Directions to Petrified Forest

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May 2018