The Dye Clan
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  • TR: Jul 2011

Petrified Tree

An interpretive sign about Petrified Tree.

Petrified Tree in Yellowstone is just that: a petrified tree. But what makes this petrified tree unique is that it is still upright.

The Petrified Tree, located near the Lost Lake trailhead, is an excellent example of an ancient redwood, similar to many found on Specimen Ridge, that is easily accessible to park visitors. The interpretive message here also applies to those trees found on Specimen Ridge.

This petrified redwood is a clue to a watmer, damper, more liolent Yellowstone landscape. Anatomically the trunk is indistinguishable from present-day redwoods in California.

When a chain of volcanoes erupted here in Eocene times 50 million years ago, they triggered massive landslides into mountain and valley streams. The rolling mix of ash, water and sand buried whole forests. Before the trees could rot, abundant silica in the volcanic flow plugged living cells, creating "forests of stone."

Volcanic ash and mudflows obliterated a living landscape yet preserved this tree for the ages. There were three redwoods standing here before thoughtless souvenir-hunters chipped away the other two. The 1907 photograph shows a second trunk in the background (before this trunk was fenced).

Interactive Map

Download KML file to view in Google Earth.

Waypoints

Waypoint Latitude Longitude Description
Trailhead -110.4384128085752 44.91552633828626  
Petrified Tree -110.4394318581465 44.91625376847895  

Trip Report: July 13, 2011

The Petrified Tree, located near the Lost Lake trailhead, is an excellent example of an ancient redwood, similar to many found on Specimen Ridge, that is easily accessible to park visitors. The interpretive message here also applies to those trees found on Specimen Ridge.

Petrified Tree

This petrified redwood is a clue to a watmer, damper, more liolent Yellowstone landscape. Anatomically the trunk is indistinguishable from present-day redwoods in California.

When a chain of volcanoes erupted here in Eocene times 50 million years ago, they triggered massive landslides into mountain and valley streams. The rolling mix of ash, water and sand buried whole forests. Before the trees could rot, abundant silica in the volcanic flow plugged living cells, creating "forests of stone."

Volcanic ash and mudflows obliterated a living landscape yet preserved this tree for the ages. There were three redwoods standing here before thoughtless souvenir-hunters chipped away the other two. The 1907 photograph shows a second trunk in the background (before this trunk was fenced).

Petrified Tree
Petrified Tree
Petrified Tree
Petrified Tree
Petrified Tree
Petrified Tree
Petrified Tree
Petrified Tree
Petrified Tree