Escalante Petrified Forest is located at Wide Hollow Reservoir (a short 12 minute drive from Slot Canyons Inn) where boating, fishing and swimming are popular. There is plenty of fun to be had while visiting the park! With the reservoir, hiking trails and exceptional camp sites there is surely something for everyone to enjoy here.
There are two camp grounds at Wide Hollow, the Wide Hollow camp site and the Lakeview RV camp site. Both sites border the reservoir and offer stunning views of the lake and the surrounding landscapes. The Fee for Wide Hollow site is $16 and Lakeview is $20. Lakeview offers RV hook-ups with some pull in sites and some back in sites. With all the camp sites you will want to check for availability and make reservations ahead of time, especially in the more popular months; summer-fall.
Enjoy taking short hikes through the hills above Escalante with captivating views of the valley. Though the views are not generally what bring visitors, its the wood! That’s right, hence the name Petrified Forest. As you hike around you will find piles of petrified wood near the trails. Be careful though, it is said that the wood is haunted and taking it from the park will cause you bad luck!
Photo Credit: Roig61 on flickr
The trails wind through groves of what once were growing trees during the prehistoric times! There are two loops to hike, the short loop which is perfect for kids and is fairly easy, about a mile long. Then there is Sleeping Rainbow Trail which is longer, steeper and rockier. Definitely for the more advanced and adventurous hikers. Although Sleeping Rainbow is more difficult, it is well worth the effort. This is where you will find the most petrified wood, with the growth rings and bark perfectly preserved!
Bring a boat, or rent a canoe! This reservoir is the perfect place to cool off during those summer months. Plenty of room to tube, water ski and more! Enjoy swimming and playing water sports with loved ones. Bank fishing is especially popular here for trout and bluegill. The best time to visit is in the spring when the water elevation is relatively higher than the rest of the year.
When you go to the Visitors Center you get the opportunity to see fossilized marine creatures and dinosaur bones! You can also get more information on the hiking, boating, camping and other activities that are permitted inside the park.