This 2.5 mi (4 km) round trip hike along the old 1930’s road into Jasper Forest is a nice stroll through an incredible garden of petrified wood. This area was originally called First Forest because it was the first collection of petrified wood travelers encountered when they came by wagon from the Adamana train station one hundred years ago. The road within Jasper Forest was added later for car traffic. The road is mostly eroded away now but if you look carefully for the old gravel you can still follow it in most places.
Please respect the visitors who follow you and leave all petrified wood, fossils, artifacts, and natural objects in their places.
This walk, although not difficult or steep, does require sturdy shoes. The footing can be difficult at any time and this walk should not be attempted in wet conditions. Do not attempt this hike if lightning is in the area. Please take normal hiking precautions and bring food and water, sun protection, and navigation aids. Pack out whatever you packed in. Park in the Jasper Forest overlook parking lot. Walk towards the main road until the slope is less steep and it is safe to walk to the area below the overlook. For your safety please do not walk on the Jasper Forest loop road because drivers may not be able to see you. The old 1930s road bed meets the current paved road and looks like a path of small round river rocks or brown cobbles.
Jasper Forest is one of the largest deposits of petrified wood in the park. These petrified log segments were originally encased in the sandstone bluffs above the road, but thousands of years of erosion have sent them tumbling down into the valley. This gravel road you are following was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the mid-1930s. The road was closed in November of 1965 and replaced by the upper road to the present parking lot and overlook. You can still see many of the original stone culverts lining the old roadbed where it crosses a wash.
The end of the road looped around a geological feature called Eagle Nest Rock. The feature fell in January 1941 after a period of unusually heavy rain. However, you can still see the base in the center of the loop.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.