Long Logs

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 2.1 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5455 - 5503 feet
Cellphone: 0-4 bars
Usage: Hiking - Dogs (on short leash)
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Facilities: Flush toilets
Trailhead: Rainbow Forest parking area
Fee: $10/vehicle or $5/person
Attractions: petrified wood, museum, Visitor Center, gift shop
   


The Long Logs trail is located in the Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona. The park protects one of the largest petrified wood deposits in the world. The Petrified Forest Road allows travelers driving through Arizona on Interstate 40 to make an easy detour through the park and visit the museum and gift shops as well as hike the easy trails where they can see many wonderful assortments of petrified wood and even take in several archaeological sites that include pueblos and petroglyphs.


The closest parking area for the Long Logs and Agate House Ruin trails is near the Rainbow Forest Museum. From there you can take the sidewalk on the south side of the Petrified Forest Road and follow the signs.


The trailhead has actually been moved back from its previous location that was much closer. Now the access road to the former trailhead is closed to vehicles and has become part of the hike. Just guessing, but it probably had something to do with controlling theft of the parks resources.


The road leads to the previous parking area where both the Long Logs and Agate House trails begin. The Long Logs trail continues at the east end of the pavement.


The entire trail has a hard surface that would be suitable for baby strollers but probably not for wheelchairs.


During the Triassic period 225 million years ago these giant trees formed a log jam. At the time this area was located near the equator and the land was swampy. Continental drift moved the land to its present location in what is now North America. The petrified remains of the huge trees are stretched out upon the ground to great lengths. Several of the logs measure around 140 feet long indicating that live trees would have been up to 200 feet tall.


Some of the pieces are large enough to dwarf all but the tallest of visitors.


The trail splits near a shelter where you can either continue on to the Agate House Ruin or return back the same way you came.


The Long Logs trail passes through one of the biggest collections of petrified wood in the park. Not all of the petrified wood is in the form of huge trees. There are many small specimens that would easily fit in your pocket. Be warned though that you have to pass through an inspection station before leaving the park where rangers make a search of your vehicle. There are plenty of places outside of the park where you can legally purchase petrified wood for about $2/pound whereas if you get caught pilfering a sample it will cost you hundreds of dollars plus your dignity. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.