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Petrified Trail Loop

 4.3 (3)
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Length


10.6 Miles 17.1 Kilometers


601' 183 m

Ascent

-592' -180 m

Descent

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

17%

Max Grade (10°)

2,711' 826 m

High

2,419' 737 m

Low

Shared By Ethan Martinson

Conditions


Unknown

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This loop combines the North Petrified Forest Trail, Maah Daah Hey, & South Petrified Forest Trail.

Ethan Martinson

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Views · Wildlife

Overview

This loop combines the North Petrified Forest Trail, Maah Daah Hey, and South Petrified Forest Trail to form a 10.5-mile loop. Most of the trail, including the entire portion along the Maah Daah Hey, is through prairie grassland. The trail can be extremely slick in places if it's rained recently.

Need to Know

There is almost no shade and no reliable water source. Some of the trail markers have been broken, but the trail is well worn and easy to follow.

Description

The trailhead for this hike cannot be reached from the main road through Theodore Roosevelt National Park. To get there from Medora, go west on I-94 then take exit 23. Go north along Forest Service Road 730 and follow the signs for the Petrified Forest. You'll pass a private road sign, but you have permission to continue. Continue on this road until you reach Road 730-2. Turn right then take the first left. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended as the road can have large ruts and potholes.

There's about a 175-foot ascent in the first half mile of the trail which is the second largest climb along the route. The North Petrified Forest Trail portion is the most strenuous portion of the loop and contains the most elevation change. There's a 300-foot descent then immediately a 300-foot ascent just before meeting the Maah Daah Hey trail. The Maah Daah Hey portion is almost entirely flat open grassland. The South Petrified Forest Trail is also mostly flat open grassland except for the area where the petrified wood is located.

Flora & Fauna

Wildflowers, prairie grasses, bison, wild horses, deer, and rabbits.

History & Background

The petrified wood collection is one of the largest in the country. The north trail has the larger concentration of petrified wood.

Contacts

Land Manager: NPS - Theodore Roosevelt

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Jun 27, 2018
Shelby Buchanan
Backpacked clockwise on our CC RT, summer of 2018. Andy and Shelby.
Jun 10, 2018
Darsha Maxson
Jun 1, 2018
big shrimp
Oct 14, 2017
Thomas Rose-Gray
gorgeous trail 10.6mi
Aug 20, 2017
Paul Mindeman
10.9mi — 4h 23m

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 3 votes

#2

in South Unit

#2183

Overall
  4.3 from 3 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
67%
3 Star
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2 Star
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Rankings

#2

in South Unit

#9

in North Dakota

#2,183

Overall
47 Views Last Month
1,603 Since Oct 15, 2016
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