|Elevation Gain||43 ft|
|My Time||30 min|
|Food Nearby||El Rancho|
The second good place to see the fossilized trees at the Petrified Forest National Park is the Giant Logs path. This is very similar to the Crystal Forest but it has some larger specimens of the fossils.
The Giant Logs trail is about as far away from the I-40 entrance as you can get. If you enter off the highway it will be about a 28 mile drive to the parking area. This parking area is, in effect, a second entrance to the park. There is a small museum and gift shop on this end as well. The path for the Giant Logs is located directly behind the museum.
The Giant Logs path is a simple, paved path that does a modified figure 8 loop. There are some really large fossils on this spot and some good informational placards to help understand how this place came to be. This trunk was about 4 feet tall and very impressive.
The center section directly behind the building has the most impressive variations as the fossils are laid out in a horseshoe style pattern.
There are also some nice views of the surrounding landscape features around the the southern portion of the Petrified National Forest Park.
The entire path only takes about 30 minutes to complete. The fossils are much bigger and seem more intact than at the Crystal Forest although it felt like the CF had more assortment.
Elevation and Distance
If you don’t have the AllTrails app you might want to check it out, I really love mine. It records your progress and is a great way to search for hikes that are nearby and gives you difficulty measurements. According to AllTrails today’s hike was around 1.12 miles and had a total elevation gain of about 43 feet including undulations. That put the high point at around 5,525 feet. I was also moving for a total of 30 minutes.
Not much to this one at all. A nice walk on a paved surface makes this hike hopefully enjoyable for all skill levels.
A paved path makes this one really easy to handle and navigate.
If you are entering the Petrified Forest National Park from I-40 the Giant Logs trail is about 28 miles down Petrified Forest road. It is very close to the 180 entrance. There is a large parking lot and another visitor center and gift shop on this end of the park as well. There is a fee of $25 per vehicle to get into the park. A National Parks pass will get you into the park.
Wrapping up Giant Logs
Giant Logs was a very cool area to explore. The fossilized wood is much bigger than at Crystal Forest and it really takes the shape of fallen trees instead of rocks. I think that if you can only see one, this might be the better place to see the petrified wood. However, if you are coming from I-40, driving almost 30 miles to get to this short path is a little anti-climatic.
There is plenty of parking and a museum right at the entrance to the path. Due to Covid they were only letting a small number of people into the building at a time. I didn’t go because there were a lot of families there that day and I didn’t want to take time away from any kids. This could be a very cool stop for some good educational experiences about how the science works if you do have children with you.
It is also nice that it is paved so it should be accessible for almost everyone.
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