Walk the Blue Mesa Trail

Rate this Adventure Arizona Blue Mesa Trail

Added by Jared Blitz

This is an very easy hike for the amount of visual reward you receive

The easiest route is to drive from the southern entrance to the Petrified Forest National Park and head north toward the 3.5 mile Blue Mesa Scenic Drive.  The drive itself is nice and offers other hikes depending on what pullout you stop your car.  For the Blue Mesa Trail look for the 3rd or 4th pullout - the one with the covered picnic table.  

The hike itself is easy and flat.  You'll notice a steep decline in the beginning (meaning a steep incline at the end of the loop) but it certainly isn't intolerable.  The trail into the badlands is paved, so you could get by with sandals if that's all you have.  Even though the hike itself is short if you're going in the summer make sure you are wearing a hat and carry water.  You're completely exposed to the sun all throughout the Petrified Forest National Park.

If you're interested the Blue Forest Trail, one of their off the beaten path hikes (also in my profile) leads directly into and/or out of Blue Mesa Trail.

Don't forget to look around at all the different types of petrified wood throughout the area.  

From the Petrified Forest National Park website:  Descending from the mesa, this alternately paved
and gravel trail loop offers the unique experience of hiking among badland hills of bluish bentonite clay as well as petrified wood. Numerous plant and animal fossils have been found by paleontologists in the sedimentary layers of Blue Mesa. 

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Water
  • Any shoe is fine
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



1 Miles


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Jared Blitz

A teacher of health and fitness in Higher Ed, an exercise physiologist, a lover of the outdoors, and fulfilled by shooting landscape photography. https://jblitzphotography.smugmug.com/browse

More Adventures Nearby

Hike the Apache Wash Loop Trail

Arizona / Apache Wash Trailhead

This hike begins at the Apache Wash Trailhead where you will find restrooms and a covered rest area.

Dan Deublein
1 Saves

Hike the Abineau-Bear Jaw Loop

Arizona / Abineau-Bear Jaw loop

This trail is slightly more hidden on the northern slope of the San Francisco Peaks, but well worth the drive just outside of Flagstaff.

Kevin Kaminski
44 Saves

Camp At Waheap Campground

Arizona / Wahweap RV Campground

This modern campground is just steps from the beach and centrally located on the Arizona / Utah border -- perfect for exploring both sides of the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area.

Kelly Park
5 Saves