Yellowstone Petrified Tree Tours
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While it’s hard to believe from looking at Yellowstone’s eruptive landscape today, there was once a time when this corner of Wyoming was covered in towering trees. Much like the Redwoods of California, these trees were prolific and crawled across hillsides and thrust their way towards the sky, with many species of tropical plants like cinnamon growing nearby. That all changed about 55 million years ago, when explosive eruptions of Yellowstone’s volcanoes forever altered the landscape. Trees were uprooted and caught in debris fields, slipping and sliding in the mud, before finally settling in upright positions like toothpicks standing on end. While many of those trees would eventually die, a few that were fossilized and petrified like stone are still in the park today—the most famous being the Yellowstone Petrified Tree just west of Tower Junction. Located within a protective fence (to keep souvenir looters at bay), the Petrified Tree is a window back to Yellowstone’s tropical past, when the peaks of the mountains we see today were once at the valley floor.
The Petrified Tree is by the Lost Lake Trailhead, and is accessible via a short hike about 1⁄4 mile off the Grand Loop Road. The turnoff is located just west of Tower Junction when traveling in the direction of Mammoth Hot Springs, and the trail also features panoramic views looking south towards the peak of Mt Washburn.
Address: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA
1 Tours and Activities to Experience Yellowstone Petrified Tree
Spend the day looking for wildlife throughout Yellowstone, focusing on Yellowstone’s Northern loop. You will visit areas such as Lamar or Haden Valley for the chance to see bears, wolves, coyotes, bison, elk, and pronghorn. You will also explore river corridors, valleys, forests, and other habitats looking for other animals including, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, river otters, and other species. While traveling through these area you will also have a chance to enjoy the scenic vistas these animals call home. (This trip is your best chance to see a bear or wolf but no guarantees.)
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Yellowstone Petrified Tree?
The best ways to experience Yellowstone Petrified Tree are:See all Yellowstone Petrified Tree experiences on Viator.