• Jasper Forest is magical in twilight, particularly the logs on stone pedestals

    Petrified Forest

    National Park Arizona

Off the Beaten Path—Jasper Forest

Jasper Forest at Twilight
Jasper Forest at Twilight
Andrew V. Kearns, VIP/NPS
 

Get off the road; get off the paved trail! See something new and interesting!

Jasper Forest

If you want to take a nice stroll through an incredible garden of petrified wood, consider walking 2.5 miles round trip along the old 1930's road into Jasper Forest-what was originally called First Forest because it was the first collection of petrified wood encountered by train passengers travelling by wagon from the Adamana station one hundred years ago. The road was added for car traffic later. The road is mostly eroded away now but if you look carefully, you can still follow it in most places.Below are a map and coordinates you can follow if you have a GPS.

Please park in the Jasper Forest parking lot instead of parking along the side of the road. Please also respect the visitors who follow you and leave all petrified wood and stone masonry in place. This walk, although not difficult or steep, does require sturdy shoes. The footing can be difficult at any time-the walk should not be attempted in wet conditions. Please take normal hiking precautions and bring food and water, sun protection, and navigation aids. Pack out whatever you packed in.

Along the way you will see:

  • One of the largest deposits of petrified wood in the park, the Jasper Forest. These petrified log segments were originally encased in the sandstone bluffs above the road, but thousands of years of erosion have sent them tumbling down into the valley.
  • This gravel road was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the mid-1930s. The road was closed in November of 1965 and replaced by the upper road to the present parking lot and overlook. You can still see many of the original stone culverts lining the old roadbed.
  • The end of the road looped around a geological feature called Eagle Nest Rock. Unfortunately the feature fell in January 1941 after a period of unusually heavy rains. However, you can still see the base in the center of the loop.
This trip is not marked in the park. Enjoy!

Would you like to see more images of Jasper Forest, including historic photographs and vintage postcards? Check out the gallery here!

 
Map of Jasper Forest
 

Did You Know?

spiral petroglyph marks the summer solstice

Petroglyphs are sometimes calendars, marking events like the summer solstice with interactions between the glyph, the sun, and natural landscape features.