A breathtaking loop in the midst of the Painted Desert”
— Hunter R
Beautiful hills of blue and purple bentonite clay command this striking landscape, adding a scenic backdrop to any outing on this smooth-treaded and gently graded run.
Need to Know
Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen along, as there is no shade on the route save for a sun shelter near the trailhead.
For those trying to photograph this area, the most spectacular colors are easiest to capture after rainfall, but regardless of the weather, the wonder and majesty of the park is ever present.
Located within the Petrified Forest National Park past Newspaper Rock
, the trailhead at Blue Mesa is marked by a sun shelter. The steepest section of this loop is at the trailhead, where you'll begin your descent into a lowland situated between the rolling badland-type hills of the painted desert. Follow the gravel trail around the loop before climbing moderately back to the parking area.