California’s Petrified Forest is the Calistoga Petrified Forest, and it’s truly one of a kind. Visit this unique forest near Napa Valley to travel back in time. Here you can see petrified trees that were turned to stone millions of years ago when a volcano erupted.
Mount Saint Helena is a mountain in the Mayacamas Mountains region, and was originally a volcano. Millions of years ago, it erupted, releasing heavy ash into the air. This ash settled on the trees and in the water, causing the trees to fossilize over thousands of years.
3.4 million years later, in 1870, Charles Evans was working on his farm. He discovered what looked like a log made out of stone. This lead to the discovery of other trees, and eventually to the oldest petrified forest in California.
California’s Petrified Forest has the largest petrified trees in the world. One tree named “The Queen” measures 8 feet wide and 65 feet long. Can you imagine standing next to that?
Currently, the Petrified Forest offers two different trails to view the area:
- The Main Trail is the main event. All the petrified trees are located on this .5 mile long trail through the forest. You can either take a guided 1.5 hour long walk through this trail, or choose to walk it on your own. Both options allow you to experience the wonder of the Petrified Forest.
- The Meadow Trail takes you through a meadow with views of the original site of Mt. Saint Helena and an ash fall. This trail is also .5 miles round trip.
Seniors 62+: $11
Juniors 12-17: $8
Children 6-11: $6
Children under 6: Free
For more information regarding prices and hours, visit the website here.
The Petrified Forest is an amazing excursion for your next Napa Valley trip. The history, science, and preservation of nature are fascinating and entertaining. Feel like you’ve stepped back in time when you visit the Calistoga Petrified Forest and see the beauty of nature preserved from millions of years ago!