Long Logs Trail in Petrified Forest National Park has a few cool things to see. The first is a bunch of long petrified logs. The second is a reconstruction of a small Native American pueblo made entirely of petrifiied wood.
The Long Logs Trail is located at the south Visitor Center. Though it seems counter-intuituve, park as far from the Visitor Center as possible down by the island. Cross the bridge and you’ll find yourself at the Long Logs trailhead.
The trail runs across the flat open mesa and splits. To the right is the pueblo (Agate House). To the left are the long logs. Both are interesting to see, and the entire loop, which includes both, is only about 2.5 miles.
We started to the right and walked over to Agate House. The trail is flat and easy and mostly smooth. When you reach the pueblo notice how the petrified wood is stacked as it best fits, not according to its grain as real wood would be. Agate House looks beautiful with all of the different colors of petrified wood, and we loved looking at it from all angles. Make sure not to climb on the structure, but enjoy it up close.
After enjoying the pueblo, take the trail back the way you came until you reach the junction. A loop takes you through the Long Logs. We spotted logs in this section of the park that we estimated at nearly 150 feet, though we didn’t leave the trail to pace them out. All of the logs are broken, usually in perfectly straight sections. This occurs because the crystal structure of the minerals breaks in almost perfect layers. In many places you could see rings, knots, and even what appears to be bark of the long logs. There were some really pretty pieces to see on this trail.
Tips For Families
This hike has no shade, so make sure to take plenty of sunscreen and a hat. The Arizona desert can be brutal in the summer, so water is a must. And never collect or remove any artifact from a national park. Leave it where your grandkids can see it!
You can also choose one section of this trail in order to take a shorter hike. The Long Logs section is 1.6 miles RT, and the Agate House is 2.0 miles RT. If you want to shorten the hike, we would recommend just doing the long logs loop since there are so many petrified wood pieces to see. If you are going to hike to Agate House, you really should add the Long Logs loop in.
Parts of the trail are paved, and the first 1/2 mile to the split is flat and easy, but we wouldn’t recommend wheels on this trail as there are sections of pretty rough unpaved trail.
Long Logs Trail and Agate House are a less traveled, family-friendly trail in Petrified Forest. For other great hikes in this National Park, check out our Petrified Forest Kid Hikes list.