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Drive about five hours south of Salt Lake City and you'll eventually come across the humble town of Escalante. This small town might not seem like it has much to offer. However, this quaint locale is home to a special destination for outdoor enthusiasts: Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. The park, located next door to the Wide Hollow Reservoir, is a great place to spend a few nights. In the flat, rocky, and forested land that surrounds the area, you'll be able to relax far away from the noise of the city.
From the petrified trees for which the park is named to fossils formed hundreds of millions of years ago, Escalante Petrified Forest State Park has something to offer nature lovers of all kinds. Whether you enjoy seeing what history leaves behind or you simply want to be one with nature for a while, browse the RV rentals in Garfield County and plan to spend a few days exploring this tranquil tract.
An excellent hiking trail network meanders through Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. Most of these trails are relatively short, looping around each other in this small park. One of the most noteworthy trails is the Petrified Forest Trail. This mile-long loop takes you through lava flows that are frozen in time with petrified wood surrounding the land.
If you're in the mood for something more challenging, the three-quarter-mile Sleeping Rainbows Trail provides just that. To get through this trail, you'll have to climb over some steep rocks, although it's nothing considerably strenuous. Don't forget to bring your camera to snap photos of the beautiful views along the way, including the 50-foot petrified tree.
On the other hand, some Escalante campers might be less interested in climbing and more focused on the watersports. You can rest assured knowing there are plenty of opportunities for fishing at Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. Try your luck catching rainbow trout and bluegill in Wide Hollow Reservoir. You can also launch a boat or kayak from the convenient ramp on the reservoir.
When it comes to camping with an RV at smaller parks, you might be concerned about there not being any space for your RV. Thankfully, you're in luck when you choose to go camping at Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, as long as your RV is 40 feet in length or less. The park's two campgrounds offer a mix of pull-through and back-in sites equipped with water and electric hookups. You can choose between 30 and 50-amp service.
Escalante Petrified State Forest provides all the home comforts you'll need for your camping trip, including restrooms and hot showers. If you hope to snag one of the sites with hookups, you'll want to reserve in advance. Dogs are allowed at the park, although you'll be expected to keep them on a leash at all times.
During your Escalante Petrified Forest State Park camping excursion, you'll want to explore the surrounding area. There are plenty of attractions, museums, and monuments near the state park that are worth your time. The museum at Anasazi State Park is home to one of the largest Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) villages west of the Colorado River, making it well worth the drive 30 miles northeast to Boulder.
Just over 100 miles to the southwest is the small town of Kanab, home of the Moqui Cave. Originally serving as a speakeasy in the 1950s, the cave is now home to a collection of gorgeous rocks, Native American artifacts, and even some dinosaur tracks that you can look at as you explore the area.
If you want to keep your RV rental a bit closer to town, stop by the Grand Staircase National Monument, which is about 30 minutes away from Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. This national monument is a must-see for anyone camping in the area, boasting acres upon acres of stunning rock formations due to sedimentary erosion. Hikers looking for a challenge will find one on the trails that wind their way through the breathtaking canyons and biodiverse landscape. Wildlife watchers will jump at the chance to catch a glimpse of the big beasts that roam through the Beehive State, including coyotes, black bears, and mountain lions.
No need to worry about running out of motorhome camping supplies during your stay. The town of Escalante is located just a couple of miles away, meaning that you can easily stock up on anything you need. If you're tired of camp food, you'll find a few comfort food options in town.