Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park is located in beautiful southern Utah, just 44 miles east of Bryce Canyon National Park. This amazing little gem offers a wide variety of fun and interesting things to do and see.

You can hike along the park nature trails through a beautiful petrified forest, camp along the shores of Wide Hollow Reservoir, view fossils, petrified wood, and fossilized dinosaur bones in the visitor center, take your boat out on the water and enjoy skiing or fishing for rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and bluegill. Or, if you prefer, you can just jump right in the clear water and enjoy a refreshing swim… etc.

There are two established trails that wind through vast deposits of some of the most beautiful petrified wood found anywhere, with some pieces measuring nearly five feet long!

The information packet says “as you explore the desert environment, which is typical of the Upper Sonoran life zone, you will notice the trees are mostly pinyon and juniper with stands of cottonwoods along the lakeshore. Many species of wildflowers share the park with small rodents, lizards, waterfowl, birds, deer and coyotes. Escalante Petrified Forest state Park is listed in the Utah Wildlife Viewing Guide as one of the few wetland bird viewing sites in southern Utah”.

Escalante Petrified Forest is 6 hours, roundtrip, form our base camp in Quail Creek. We packed a lovely picnic lunch and made a day trip of it. I can definitely co-sign on everything the information packet claims this beautiful park to be.

Here are a few pictures from our Escalante adventure…

As you are traveling towards Escalante you are welcomed by all this beauty.




Inside Escalante campground, we were greeted by the camp host who, like me, also works the gate booth. When I told her we are camp hosts at Quail Creek, she said “well, then, I’m going to let you in for free”. I told her if she ever comes to Quail Creek or San Tan in Arizona I will let her in for free too… Even in retirement, it pays to network and keep good contacts. 🙂

This is the camp host site at Escalante camp grounds.


By the time we arrived at Escalante it was lunchtime so we settled in and enjoyed our picnic overlooking the clear reservoir.




Then it was time to hit the hiking trails and see the petrified forest… This is one large downed and petrified tree.


Petrified wood is everywhere. The information packet says “the 200-foot high mesa top of Escalante was once the bottom of an ancient flood plain and approximately 135 to 155 million years ago, trees up to 100 feet tall were uprooted and buried in mud during periods of flooding. Groundwater permeated the buried trees over million of years. Because they were in an oxygen-free environment, the trees did not decay. Instead, through a complex process, silica solution in the groundwater replaced organic material in the tree, leaving the cell structure intact. Due to erosion, this fallen forest of petrified trees is now exposed. How interesting is that?


After a fun afternoon at Escalante, we headed home. Bill noticed this old U.S. Post Office on the way to Escalante, and was so fascinated with it that he wanted to stop and get a picture of it on the way home…


He wanted me to be sure and capture the address.. “25” .


I found these pretty flowers tucked into this chain link fence all along the side of an old house interesting and wondered who put them there and why… ?


Bill and I had a beautiful, fun-filled day at Escalante, one of many we are enjoying now that we are retired and living our dream…

Up Next: St. George Farmer’s Market… Alligator jerky anyone?


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. A Wandering Memory
    Aug 01, 2015 @ 18:45:16

    Interesting… I never heard of this although lived in Utah. Thanks for sharing


  2. gotham girl
    Aug 01, 2015 @ 18:52:08

    Way cool…love that you two are exploring and finding these gems and then of course sharing! What is the temperature like there? Low humidity? Like my Bro, I love these small old post offices too! How cute!! And yes, continuing to network will never end which is a very good thing! Love you guys!!! More! xoxo


    • beyondcinderella
      Aug 01, 2015 @ 18:57:53

      Oh, Frissy, you would LOVE Escalante. As a photographer, it would be a dream day! The temps at Escalante were in the high 80’s low 90’s with little to no humidity. It was just perfect for me! Love and miss you. XoXo


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