Location:Blue Mesa, Petrified Forest National Park
Length: 1 mile loop
Difficulty: moderately strenuous
Trailhead: Blue Mesa sun shelter
The trail winds down from the Blue Mesa in the Painted Desert, and is alternately paved and graveled.
Blue Mesa Trail meanders through the hills of the badlands and and although it is not a lengthy trail is is quite a hot walk, and can be strenuous in places due to the steep descent.
The hills themselves are spectacular, with the deep blue gray bentonite clay intermingling with the amazing colors of the petrified wood.
In many areas there have been some superb plant fossils found in the sedementary layers of Blue Mesa area.
Depending on the time of year you will see delicate desert plants that are in bloom and will provide an amazing background for the beautiful colors of the painted desert.
Don’t forget your camera when you hike this.
There is no water available to you on the Blue Mesa trail and you’re absolutely going to want a drink at some point,so make sure you pack a bottle with you.
The upper portion of the Blue Mesa trail will be easy to manage for a wheelchair or a stroller with children however when the trail starts to drop, it gets very steep and is narrow in places so prior to hitting that steeper area its best to turn around if your party includes children or adults that require either stroller or wheelchair.
As with all of the other areas in the Petrified Forest or Painted Desert, please do not attempt to pack out or take the plants or artifacts. To do so is illegal and is also part of the attractions of the Painted Desert. Leave them there for others to enjoy.
The Blue Mesa Trail is a short walk, although it can be somewhat steep in places, but is in fact one of the best hikes in the Painted Desert and is well worth your time and effort to accomplish.