Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

We spent the night at Escalante State Park, or Escalante Petrified Forest State Park.  I saw both names in signage and online, they must have recently changed names.    The park was nice, we got there fairly late but had reserved a space ahead of time through  Every spot was taken, there’s not very many. I’d recommend reserving a space if you choose to stay here between Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef like we did.

The park is small but nice, with paved driveways in all the camping spaces and very nice hot showers and clean bathrooms.  We were only here for a night and an afternoon but there was plenty of nature trails and hiking for a day or two and more in the surrounding area.

Doing my best Hercules impression.   By the power of Greyskull!  ..wait wrong show.    After a few days on the road you need to have some fun and unwind.

Aww… Cece’s made a new friend, a giant collared lizard.    Look what followed us home! Mom can we keep it?

For the spaces being as cheap as they were the showers and paved slots were nicer than some campgrounds that cost twice as much.

Our space on the corner didn’t have much for tent space and everyplace had ant hills close by.  All the other seemed much better than ours with better tent pads.  Oh well beggars cant be choosers 😉

After almost a week on the road and seeing everything that we have so far its nice to just sit and relax for a change and think about what all you’ve seen and what the road up ahead might bring.

Bad timing on our part.  After resting up we went to do our daily hike and see more of our nice little park.  We found some nice trails with pamphlets to inform you of all the interesting bits along the way.  Unfortunately started late in the afternoon and without realizing how long it would be the sun went down on our way back.  Nothing like hiking down a trail with some steep drop-offs and loose rocks in the dark with no flashlight.

We also weren’t planning on going for a long hike when we set out and I forgot my camera at first and missed out on some great pictures of a jack rabbit that walked past us just 6 feet away.  C’s never seen one in the wild so close before and was bursting with excitement and could barely keep still 😉

There’s some nice examples of petrified wood along the trails that the park was named for, its maybe a mile and 200 ft up before you get to it though. If you want to just get out of the car and see some this hike isn’t for you.  There are some pieces down by the parking-lot, however.

This piece is very well preserved, you can still see the tree rings and grain of the wood.

Much of the bark has been preserved in mineral form also.

Other blocks had many variations of color.

Along the trail we saw more prickly pear blooms like the vivid red ones from Natural Bridges National Park.  The first patch of blooms we saw here were yellow!   Further up the path and a little higher in altitude we saw a group of pinks and then further more reds.    Cool!

I was excited that so many different kinds of prickly pear could be in one small area, then I remembered that the chollo cactus blooms back home also start out one color and fade to another.   I think these are all the same kind of prickly pear cactus but at different stages of blooming.

Found hundreds of holes like this all over close to the showers.  What the heck are these?  Wasps? Ants?

The next morning we had to hit the road but whipped a U-Turn when we passed a post office in Henrieville Utah to mail some post cards.   Wow…

They still use the old style combination boxes like we used to have in Fort Stanton, New Mexico.    Talking to the single employee, she says there’s only a handful of Post Offices left in the state of Utah that still use them.

Federal wood stove?  Did the government make these for Federal buildings?  I remember seeing a much bigger one in one of the train depots we went to.

1 comment to Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

  • Thomas Pierannunzio

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