Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Freedom Day 2 - Gallatin Petrified Forest Interpretive Trail

It occurred to me yesterday after I posted about the Lewis and Clark Caverns that I had a common theme for this week's postings: Freedom Days. I have five of them because my son is in a camp this week. He only chose to do three camps this summer and during the last one I won't have the car. This leaves me limited time to get out and about. I intend to make the most of it. Without farther ado, I bring you Freedom Day 2: Gallatin Petrified Forest Interpretive Trail.

I was totally stoked when I found out that there's a petrified forest near Yellowstone. I guess that's a Duh! I even found some halfway decent directions on the internet. They got me there. The thing is, due to time constraints I was not able to finish the trail and really, I saw more petrified wood when I drove up the wrong road for six miles. So I can't say if there's a forest there. I talked to an older couple, and the gentleman was saying that he didn't see it. Sounds like they had finished hiking the trail on a previous visit. They were going to give it another go. The wife did say they saw a tree coming out of a cave and then you can see the tree roots from underneath. That does sound cool, and I intend to check it out.

In fact, when I investigated on the internet, a photo of said tree is about the only photograph I was able to find from Gallatin Petrified Forest. I do intend to return possibly later this summer and at least finish the trail. However, one tree a forest does not make, so if that's all I find, I'll be a bit disappointed.

However, I would not say it was a wasted trip. It is a very beautiful area. The scenery does not disappoint. If you are into volcanic rock and the processes that formed the mountains and geology, it's a great place to visit. Just check out the photos below.

Directions to the place are sketchy at best. Here's a link that will get you within the right area. Directions to Tom Miner Campground. Here are my observations from the trip which should help you navigate the place better. When you come to the second Y, there's a sign that says Tom Miner Creek Road and it looked to me like it went to the road on the left. It does not. Follow the road to the right. That will take you all the way out to the camp ground. You will see a sign by the turn for the campground. Next time I go, I will take better notes. It is kind of a difficult place to navigate.

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