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Martha's Butte - 2 members in 3 triplogs have rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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May 19 2018
trekkin_gecko
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 Guides 7
 Routes 364
 Photos 4,435
 Triplogs 2,909

62 female
 Joined Nov 17 2008
 phoenix, az
Petrified Forest National Park, AZ 
Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 19 2018
trekkin_gecko
Hiking3.30 Miles 314 AEG
Hiking3.30 Miles
314 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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johnlp
john and i headed for pefo when i got off work saturday morning
stopped at the rainbow forest visitor center to get a permit (more on that later)
had to be at painted desert inn by five, so we did a quick out and back to martha's butte, the one mile blue mesa loop and a brief stop at agate bridge
two very different hikes with unique scenery, petrified wood, petroglyphs and badlands
it would have been nice to have more time for these
my first visit; will have to go back
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1 archive
May 19 2018
johnlp
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 Guides 1
 Routes 9
 Photos 4,509
 Triplogs 3,630

63 male
 Joined Mar 16 2008
 chandler,az
Petrified Forest National Park, AZ 
Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 19 2018
johnlp
Hiking3.30 Miles 314 AEG
Hiking3.30 Miles
314 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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trekkin_gecko
gecko and I got in two quick hikes on very limited time. Had no idea the park would close at 5 PM as it usually closes at 7 this time of year. The two hikes are very different. Recommend both. :)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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“Good people drink good beer.” Hunter S Thompson
Apr 01 2017
Hansenaz
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 Guides 4
 Routes 172
 Photos 6,738
 Triplogs 391

67 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Marthas Butte and beyond - PFNP, AZ 
Marthas Butte and beyond - PFNP, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 01 2017
Hansenaz
Hiking6.00 Miles
Hiking6.00 Miles   4 Hrs   15 Mns   1.41 mph
 no routes
1st trip
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I love to go to the Petrified Forest and I promised my wife we'd stay in Holbrook's finest motel if she came along.

We planned the walk to hit PFNP's only "remote public" petroglyph site and then to explore beyond that. A few years ago the Park Service decided to proactively push the PFNP back country and the cross country walk to Martha's Butte is posted on their website and a flyer is available at the Visitor's Center. nps.gov/pefo/upload ... .pdf

We drove about 3mi past the South Visitor Center and parked at the pull off just short of the small Dry Wash bridge. From there we walked up the wash a few hundred yards before cutting cross country. Soon we could see the "Bell shaped" Butte past the edge of the low mesa on our left, and just continued. There is no trail but some tracks were visible - I suspect every rain resettles disturbed ground which is sort of nice.

It's only about a mile to the Butte and the base is surrounded by some nice rock art. Most of the major petroglyphs in PFNP (and I assume these) are thought to date from the latest major occupation period (1300-1450); the habitation sites were at least several miles away (Pueblo Puerco, further up the road, is one) so the extensive decoration implies this location had some significance. There are a couple impressive examples of petrified logs near the Butte, but then again it's practically everywhere you look out here. Anyway the hike to the Butte and back would be an excellent gentle introduction to walking in this park.

We continued on looking for more ancient signs...I wont give details, it ruins the fun...and had very good luck. Lots of very impressive glyphs, decorated pottery pieces, flaked rock, and even a fossil or two. It's just a great place to walk around and be entertained by the Painted Desert scenery, petrified wood, unique erosion features, etc.

So the Econo-Lodge it was (that is Holbrook's finest and not half bad) and back to PFNP on Sunday.
Photos:
Martha Butte [ photoset ]
Beyond Martha's Butte [ photoset ]
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2 archives
average hiking speed 1.41 mph

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.

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