We at the Lodge at Red River Ranch make it our responsibility to tell you about some of the best places to visit in Southern Utah. One of the places with the most scientific and historical significance in Utah is the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. This park protects one of nature’s most amazing phenomena – fossilized trees.
Located near the town of Escalante, in Garfield County, Escalante Petrified Forest State Park covers 1,300 acres of Southern Utah desert. The park offers an abundance of fossil samples, including dinosaur bones. We at the Lodge suggest that you hike the Petrified Forest Trail. This is a one-mile loop through ancient lava flows that allows the hiker to the best view of these fossils.
When visiting the park, be sure to check out the visitor center, which houses some of the most valuable fossils.
In addition to hiking opportunities and an impressive fossil collection, the Petrified Forest is also home to Wide Hollow Reservoir. This reservoir is perfect for boating, swimming, and fishing (it is stocked with bluegill and rainbow trout.)
Because the Petrified Forest State Park is located so close to the Escalante- Grand Staircase National Monument, we suggest that your travel plans include visiting both of these destinations.
The Escalante Petrified Forest State Park charges a fee of six dollars per entering vehicle, included in this cost are watercraft launching rights. Camping is available at the Wide Hollow Reservoir Campground. Each campsite costs sixteen dollars per night.
For more information about this park, check out the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park website.