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Escalante Petrified Forest State Park - Utah

Summary: A small, drab little state park with little to see or do. The main feature of the park is the petrified wood and small man made reservoir. There is much better petrified wood near Wolverine Canyon in Grand Staircase Escalante down the road, and that area is free. Like all UT state parks, there are fees for everything: entry fee $5 per car load, bicycles and walk ins $3, showers $2 per person (plus the $5 entry fee), camping $14 per night (includes shower), canoe rental $5 per hour, $10 for 4 hours..
Directions: The park is located on Highway 12 between mile posts 58 & 59 a few miles west of the small town of Escalante.
Road Conditions: Passenger Car - paved all the way
Navigation: Easy
Length: 1.5 miles
Date Hiked: November, 2002
Weather Conditions: Cool & sunny
Required Skills: None
Hike Description: There's only one trail in the park. Pick up a nature trial guide at the trailhead kiosk. The short trail leads up a steep hill and features some colorful petrified wood (please do not collect). The wood is the remains of ancient conifer trees that existed when the area was considerably wetter and more tropical. Some of the pieces are extremely well preserved and contain very minute details of the bark and tree rings. The size of the trees is interesting as well, and make a sharp contrast with the flora that exists today. A 0.75 mile optional spur trail leads down a hill side to some of the better examples of petrified wood in the park.
Rating (1-5 stars):
The author and his wife visited the park mainly to get a shower (the showers are nice). The petrified wood is interesting, but not worth the $5 entry fee. We hiked the one and only trail in about
an hour.
Maps: None
Books: None
Photos: No pictures were taken on this hike.