“A trail down a valley with a somewhat misleading name as there is an abundance of trees.”
— Ethan Martinson
Birding · River/Creek · Spring · Wildlife
Need to Know
There are a few possible creek crossings and the trail can be muddy in places depending on recent rainfall and the time of the year. The tick population can be extremely high as there is abundant high grass and shrubs along the trail.
The trailheads for the Lone Tree Trail are well-marked and can be found by following the South Petrified Forest Trail
. The run along the South Petrified Forest Trail
is mostly through flat grassland. Once on the trail, you'll descend into a valley following a stream at times. The eastern side of the trail has a steeper grade into the valley. The trail is not as well worn as the Petrified Forest or the Maah Daah Hey
trails, but it is well marked with trail signs.
The southeast corner of the trail has a junction with the Maah Daah Hey
trail. There are a number of trail makers at the junction, but in case they are missing, know that the Lone Tree Trail does not cross the creek. The trail passes immediately next to Tomamichael Spring. There is a trough at the spring so wildlife could be spotted in that area. The water from the spring is not considered safe to drink without being treated. Completing the trail via the South Petrified Forest Trail
will be a 12 mile run.
The trail can also be accessed by following the Ekblom Trail
starting at the Peaceful Valley Ranch or from the Cottonwood Campground and getting on the Maah Daah Hey
. Both of these options require crossing the Little Missouri River. Checking the current river level is advisable before attempting either option.
Flora & Fauna
The trail goes through a prairie dog town. Deer, bison, wild horses, and birds are some of the wildlife that can be seen.