The Petrified Forest has many trails and overlooks. Jasper Forest is one of them. It’s an amazing overlook that, I imagine, would be completely different different times of the day.
Jasper Forest is filled with petrified wood that over time has washed into the basin at the bottom of the gully.
At one point in time the petrified wood was encased in the cliff side in this area. Over time natural erosion took it’s toll and the petrified wood became loose and tumbled to the bottom of the gully. This area was the most plundered of it’s petrified wood, back in the 19th and early 20th centuries before this became a National Park.
Speaking of trails, the Blue Mesa Trail is an amazing hike. That is, if you have the time and energy for it. Although the Blue Mesa Trail is only 1 mile in length, it is not for the faint of heart.
The trail has extreme highs and lows. It starts on the often windy mesa top, descending over 100 feet below to the rim. If the day is getting late, as it was for us, then hike some but maybe not all of the trail.
If you look closely at the above picture, you can see the trail in the valley. Now think of the descent. Not too bad until you remember you have to come back up.