There are many wonderful places to visit in Southern Utah. Some are well known – such as Zion National Park – and some are local secrets. One of the places that most tourists never visit is Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. The Petrified Forest Located near the town of Escalante, in Garfield County. It encompasses 1,300 acres of Southern Utah desert and offers the visitor a chance to explore ancient fossils, both from pant and animals – including dinosaurs.
We at the Lodge suggest that you hike the Petrified Forest Trail. This is a one-mile loop through old lava flows that gives you the best overview of the fossils.
When visiting the park, be sure to check out the visitor center, which doubles as a museum and houses some of the most valuable fossils. Some polished items are occasionally for sale
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 the Grand Staircase as well. There are many hikes in the monument, but even if you just drive through it, you will have a good time.
The Escalante Petrified Forest State Park charges a fee of six dollars per entering vehicle – included in this cost are the watercraft launching fees. 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.