Petrified Tree Tours

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 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.

Practical Info

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.
Location
Address: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA
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2 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Self-Guided Driving Tour of Yellowstone Upper Loop

Cooke City, Montana is the jumping off point for Yellowstone's northern entrance, which places it close to the Upper Loop and many of the park's scenic sites. By using this self guided driving tour of Yellowstone National Park, get helpful tips on where to find wildlife and where to find the best views, and learn the history, geology, and stories of America's first National Park. With the helpful mile by mile guide you can maximize time in the park, and not have to worry about getting lost or thinking about where to stop next.
  • Duration: 12 hours
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$65.00 USD
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  • Duration: 12 hours
From
$65.00 USD

Self-Guided Yellowstone Upper Loop Tour from Gardiner

Discover the breath-taking beauty of Yellowstone National Park at your own pace on a full-day self-guided tour of the legendary expanse from Gardiner. Receive your itinerary via email and then set out to explore the Yellowstone National Park Upper Loop independently. Marvel at spectacular monuments like the Petrified Tree, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, the Obsidian Cliff and the Huckleberry Ridge as you follow an exhilarating route through the park. Scour the scenery for wildlife like wolves, Grizzly bears and buffalo while relishing the freedom of exploring according to your own schedule and interests.
  • Duration: 12 hours
From
$65.00 USD
See Details
  • Duration: 12 hours
From
$65.00 USD

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