Petrified Logs

Round Trip Distance: 0.3 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 2172 - 2218 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Petrified Logs
Fee: $10/vehicle
Attractions: petrified logs

The Valley of Fire State Park, near Overton, Nevada, has several short trails where visitors can get up close looks of petrified logs that were created from trees that were present in the area 150 million years ago. This post covers the Petrified Logs trail on the west side of the park.

Look for a turnoff from the main road across from Atlatl Rock and the campgrounds.

The parking area is a few hundred yards from the turnoff.

As you leave the parking area the trail forms a loop. For this post we followed the right fork of the loop.

From there the trail works its way around the crown of the hill and makes a short decent that takes it down to the level of the petrified logs.

Each of the areas of interest are well marked and enclosed by a fence.

The petrified logs appear as the ground around them erodes away naturally.

As more and more material erodes from around a log the more likely it is to break into sections from its own massive weight.

Several informative kiosks provide facts that make the trail much more interesting than it might be otherwise.

Petrified logs and petrified wood in general are not uncommon in the southwestern United States but many of the logs in unprotected areas have already been dug up and hauled away by collectors. Today, State and National Parks are the best places for the general public to see such specimens as these.

From the last site the trail gently climbs back up the hill to the parking area.

There are several campgrounds, as we mentioned, across the road from this petrified logs location. Camping spots are available on a first come basis and can't be reserved in advance. We have been to the Valley of Fire State Park in the heat of summer and the middle of winter, and even in the middle of the week, and the campgrounds have always been full. Fortunately there are plenty of primitive camping areas along the highway between Overton and the park where a person can usually find a place to camp. They are mostly used by people with RV's that are self-contained. As there are no trees tent campers will want to bring their own potty and privacy curtain. As far as the Petrified Logs trail goes, if you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.