The Chinle Trail starts from the Anasazi Way sub-division and crosses the open desert as it winds toward the base of Mount Kinesava. The trail travels through the open desert and offers up some amazing and sweeping views of the cliffs behind great formations like the West Temple and Mount Kinesava. The trail crosses areas of petrified wood and has highly developed areas of cryptobiotic soil. This trail is very hot in the summer but pleasant in the spring and fall. Coalpits Wash has no developed trail, but there is a well beaten path that is easy to follow to the junction with Scoggins Wash. At the junction of Scoggins Wash, bear left and head up the canyon between enormous boulders and small waterfalls. This trail is best from the fall to the spring due to its low elevation. Summer can get very hot and dry, making the summer months a difficult time to visit. Camping is in designated sites only. Permits are available online for reservable sites and at the Visitor Centers for first come, first serve sites.
Petrified Wood Forest
The Chinle Trail travels through a petrified wood forest where you can see numerous examples of petrified wood logs and pieces. By taking photos and leaving the rocks behind we can help preserve it for future generations.
This living soil is widespread along the Chinle and Coalpits Wash Trail. It provides stability to the soil and nutrients for the plants. It can take 70-100 years to form but only one footprint to destroy. Without this valuable soil the desert would look vastly different.
A short section of Coalpits Wash near the springs goes through a rock layer that gets narrow like a slot canyon and has been undercut by erosion.
A short walk off the trail down a wash to the south will lead you to this site. This site has a great slickrock area that overlooks Scoggins Wash. This site has a maximum group size of 6 and is available for reservations online.
Located on a ridge just above the Coalpits Wash, this site sits among several boulders and has great views. It is only a short walk to Coalpits Spring where water is usually available. This site has a maximum group size of 6 and is available for reservations online.
Located near the Coalpits Wash spring. A sandy area surrounded by dark lava rock. The site is a good location for further exploring. Water can usually be found nearby at Coalpits Spring. This site has a maximum group size of 6 and is available for reservations online.
Located at the junction of Scoggins and Coalpits Wash. A sandy bench to the west of the drainage with great views of the surrounding mesas. This site has a maximum group size of 12 and is available for reservations online.
Last updated: April 27, 2021