Mammoth Hot SpringsNorrisMadisonOld FaithfulLakeCanyonTower/Roosevelt

Roadside Wonders

Petrified Tree

Allow approx.
20-25 minutes for this activity

Petrified Tree
Petrified Tree Orientation Map    

Trying to fathom that something can be tens of millions of years old is hard to do. Well, that is how old the Petrified Tree is. This now solid rock was once a giant redwood tree surrounded by a forest of trees just like it. During violent volcanic eruptions millions of years ago, mudflows and volcanic deposits rapidly filled the open pores of the tree , solidifying it into the rocky trunk that you see today. Where there was once two there is now only one petrified tree left standing. In the earlier days of the park, visitors and explorers took pieces of the second tree until there was nothing left to take. A fence surrounds the remaining tree so that it will be left alone and still standing for generations to come. A 1/4 mile paved road that turns off of the Grand Loop Road will take you back to this geological wonder. Trailers and large vehicles are not allowed to drive all the way back to the Petrified Tree because of lack of space for those types of vehicles to turn around. There is a small pullout available at the start of the road to park trailers and large vehicles where you can then walk less than 1/4 mile to the Petrified Tree.

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