Petrified Forest Trailhead
There are so many diverse features in Yellowstone and one of them is a mountain ridge covered with dozens of petrified trees. This is absolutely worth the effort to climb the steep trail. This trail is best accessed from the last pull off on the east side of the road just before the bridge over Lamar River heading north. It is not marked on the map or with a sign, so you just kind of must figure out where it is. Not a problem though as you simply head east crossing the valley and soon start climbing the hillside into the trees. While a relatively short hike, it heads straight up the mountain with only a few switchbacks to provide some relief from the strenuous uphill climb. The trail soon emerges from the first group of trees and then splits, but you can take either one as it is a loop. Soon you begin to see petrified tree stumps, big and small. There are dozens that can be found with a little exploration. Keep heading up the ridge until you find a massive petrified tree stump believed to be a redwood. Yes, Yellowstone had a redwood forest. Directly down from the large petrified tree are two small yet tall petrified trunks. This is one of only a few places on earth where petrified trees can be found still standing vertical. A few bonuses to this hike are some spectacular views of the valley known as “Little America”, the Lamar River and Sough Creek, and the northern Absaroka Mountain Range.