The Giant Logs trail is a short loop in Petrified Forest National Park. The trail is heavily trafficked and a great introductory hike to some of the features that can be seen in this national park.  

Giant Logs Loop Trail Hiking Trail Guide

The Four Corners region of the United States features some of the most unique landscape in the country. Known as the Colorado Plateau, this region includes several popular national parks. The southeastern edge of the plateau in northern Arizona is home to Petrified Forest National Park. This national park is known for its reptilian and tree fossils as well as a large area of vibrantly colored landscape known as the painted desert.

Located at the southern entrance of Petrified Forest National Park, the Giant Logs loop trail is a short hike near the Rainbow Forest museum. This trail is a self-guided interpretive hike. There is a pamphlet at the beginning of the trail with several markers along the way. Each marker is dedicated to some basic historical facts about the region and national park. This trail is primarily known for its abundance of large petrified wood. Other views will include the base of gray and purple rolling badlands, the plains of the high desert south of the park boundaries. 

It is important to note that prior to European exploration and arrival, this region was highly valued by Native Americans for over ten thousand years. The area within Petrified National Forest served as an important trade and migration route for the people’s of the Pueblo, Zuni, and Hopi. Surrounding the park’s borders is the territory of Navajo Nation.

Giant Logs Loop Trail History

Prior to being the high desert plains and Painted Desert of northern Arizona that it is today, the area was once an immense floodplain. The tropical environment was home to many pre-historic species of amphibians and reptiles during the Triassic period approximately 225 million years ago. The current long logs are a remnant of a large scale flood 200 million years ago.

In the flood, prehistoric trees were buried by immense layers of sediment. The logs were buried so deep that oxygen was cut off from the decaying process. Sediment and volcanic ash in the water allowed organic matter to slowly be replaced with a variety of minerals. Today the fossilized trees are mostly made up of quartz and are a reminder of an environment that once was.

On A Personal Note

Although this trail is by no means long, it does feature a significant amount of petrified wood. The hike is a great addition to the Rainbow Museum where one can learn additional information about the park. If you’re looking for additional things to do near this trail, I highly recommend the Long Logs and Agate House Loop Trail

As a reminder, it is a criminal act to steal any petrified wood, fossils, or Native American artifacts. Please remember to always leave no trace when visiting the outdoors.

Have you hiked this trail recently? Please share any trail updates/pictures in the comments below.

  • Overall Difficulty: 5% 5%
  • Overall Views: 25% 25%
Giant Logs Loop Trail Quick Facts:
  • Elevation: 5,433 feet.
  • Elevation Gain: 80 feet.
  • Estimated Distance: 0.4 miles.
  • My Actual Distance: 0.5 miles.
  • Estimated Time: 20-60 minutes.
  • My Time:  17 minutes moving; 23 minutes total.
Giant Logs Loop Trail Directions:
Open in maps. The trail entrance is directly behing the Rainbow Forest Museum. Parking can be found in the same area. There is ample parking. Cost is the price of admission to the park. An America The Beautiful Pass will also work. The park does have limited hours and is not open 24/7. Please keep that in mind when visiting.
Giant Logs Loop Trail Pictures:
Who Giant Logs Loop Trail Is For
Novice Hikers: This is a great trail for new hikers, families, or people who are unable to do long hikes. As I mentioned already, this trail is a great introduction to this historical aspects of this park. 

Advanced Hikers: Although this trail is not long by any means, it’s a great way to get your legs moving if you have just one day to spare in the park. The large concentration of petrified wood was a unique view in itself. 

Expert Hikers: This is not a tough trail by any means but let that keep you from enjoying the historical perspective of the trail.

It’s always a good idea to be aware of what type of hiking level you’re at.

Best Time Of Year To Hike Giant Logs Loop Trail:
This national park experiences a full four seasons as far as temperature is concerned. Spring and Fall have mild temperatures. Winters can be cold with occasional snow and light rainfall. The growing season is short here during the spring. The plants green up during a couple of months and wildflowers can be seen from the end of March through May. 

As summer nears the temperatures also increase. Between the months of July to September it’s not uncommon for there to be temperatures upwards of 100 degrees. Summer is also the rainy season. The monsoon season kicks into gear starting in late June and tapers off in September. It’s not uncommon for there to be heavy downpours, lightning, and periodic flooding. Most of the park’s rainfall takes place between the months of July to September. 

If you hear thunder, it’s not a good idea to be out along the open trail. Instead, seek shelter so that you won’t be the tallest object standing in an open field during a lightning storm. 

It’s always a great idea to check the weather before a hike.

Giant Logs Loop Trail Conditions:
The Giant Logs Loop trail is in great condition and maintained by the National Park Service.  Although this is listed as loop trail it is actually more of a lollipop trail. The lollipop is towards the end as the trail leads outward towards the rolling plains. The trail is a mix of loose soil and concerte. 

There are pamphlets at the beginning of the trail for the self-guided interpretive tour. To help with avoiding waste, please put back the guides so that others can use them. Please be aware that rattlesnakes are common in this area. There is no poison ivy along the trail.