First Forest Point

Round Trip Distance: 1.6 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 5517 - 5606 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Jasper Forest
Fee: $20/vehicle
Attractions: Scenic views, petrified wood

The First Forest Point trail is located in the Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona. The trail begins at the Jasper Forest trailhead where it travels south along the rim before dropping down into the Jasper Forest area where it then climbs up another hill and continues to a point overlooking the Jasper Forest which was formerly named the First Forest. Along this primitive backcountry trail hikers will be able to see petrified trees that are in the process being exposed to the surface elements as the mountain erodes from around them.

The Jasper Forest trailhead is about 18.5 miles from the north entrance along the Petrified Forest Road.

The unmarked trail begins near the south end of the parking area where a faint path can be seen.

Once the trail is found continue following it as it travels along the rim.

After hiking a little over a quarter mile along the rim the trail finds an easy place to drop down into the valley.

The trail reaches its lowest point where it crosses a wash. From there it is difficult to tell which way to go. To be able to see where all of the petrified trees are eroding out of the mountain you need to climb the hill on the other side of the wash.

With no clear trail to follow, about all you can do is pick a route that looks suitable. Little bits of petrified wood cover the hard packed ground like a coat of gravel.

There is a lot of nice looking specimens of petrified wood to admire while climbing the hill.

At the top of the hill it takes a little bit of scrambling to get all the way up onto the ridge. The ground is very hard making it a little more difficult to get good footing.

Trees can be seen sticking out of the cliff in various stages of erosion.

As the ground wears away from around the logs gravity takes over causing them to crack and break off in sections. After seeing that, it becomes more apparent that the trees in other areas that are still intact like in the Long Logs area didn't erode out of a cliff like they did here.

In the narrowest parts of the ridge logs can be seen that are sticking out both sides.

The First Forest Point trail is educational if nothing else. The trail between the parking area and the valley is easy enough but the hill on the opposite side most hikers will find to be a little challenging. Seeing all the different logs in various stages of eroding out of the hill is kind of eye opening and for that reason well worth the effort for those visitors that have the extra time. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.