Petrified Forest

Description

The volcanic activity rumbling beneath Calistoga, producing the punctual geysers and hot springs, also created an unusual fallen forest of petrified redwoods that has been a roadside attraction since the very first roads came through. Millions of years ago, a massive volcanic eruption flattened the surrounding forest, and the ashfall from that event deeply blanketed the toppled trees. In 1857, the forest, now turned to stone by the work of time and seeping minerals, was discovered. The attraction's first proprietor, known to locals as "Petrified Charlie," began to excavate the trees in 1871. Charlie and his trees were described by Robert Louis Stevenson in his account of his Napa Valley days, The Silverado Squatters. The park is still privately owned, and subsequent proprietors have continued Charlie's work, unearthing such wonders as the Giant, 60 feet long and 6 feet in diameter, and the Monarch Tree, the world's largest intact petrified tree. It's 105 feet long and 6 feet thick, with incredibly detailed, ribbed bark and knotholes. A 20-minute stroll on the park trail will steer you by most of the trees, and the one-hour guided meadow hike held every Saturday at noon and Sunday at 11 AM takes you to the Ash Fall, where you can still find evidence of that ancient eruption. The Petrified Forest is located near the border of Napa and Sonoma counties on Petrified Forest Road outside of Calistoga. It is open daily from 9 AM to 7 PM between Memorial Day to Labor Day, and from 9 AM to 5 PM the remainder of the year. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors 60 years old and over, $5 for youth ages 12 to 17, and $3 for children 6 to 11. Children under 6 are free.

Address

4100 Petrified Forest Rd
Calistoga, CA 94515

Lat/Long

38.55485400, -122.63842400
Visit Website
(707) 942-6667

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