Trail Condition: Class 1 (Trail is either paved or gravel. Navigation skills are not needed because there is only one trail or because there are signs. Elevation gains are gradual or there are stairs.)
Time: 10 minutes
Length: 0.1 miles round trip
Fees: Entrance fee
Recommended Months to Visit:
Features: Not Technical, Appropriate for Scouts,
Hype:Petrified Tree in Yellowstone is just that: a petrified tree. But what makes this petrified tree unique is that it is still upright.
Closest City or Region: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Coordinates: 44.915497, -110.438461
By Jeremy Dye
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).