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Blue Mesa Trail

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

Do you want to view a landscape that is out of this world? If your answer is yes, then the Blue Mesa Trail is sure to please—located in Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park, this mile long trail takes you down into the Painted Desert, a landscape brushed in blue, where you will find cone-shaped hills banded in a variety of colors and intricately eroded into unique patterns.

The steep Blue Mesa Trail gives the hiker access to not only these badlands, but to the park’s namesake—the Petrified Forest. The trailhead starts up on the windy mesa, but once you descend below the rim, the air is calm and warm. In contrast, up on the mesa, the wind can be fierce, but do not let the wind stop you—head down the trail to get close-up views of the petrified trees.

The remnants of the trees lie scattered all along the edges of the trail, allowing for excellent viewing and/or photo opportunities. The trail descends 100 feet below the rim, and can be a little steep for some people, but it can be easily managed by anyone in good physical condition. Oddly enough, not very many people venture down into Blue Mesa, so if you like solitude you will find it on this trail—most people opt to view the Blue Mesa from the overlook, but to truly appreciate it you must get a closer look from below the rim.




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