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blueBlack Lava Flow - Petrified Dunes Loop

  5.0 ( 1 ) Favorite

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4.3 mile 6.9 kilometer loop
92% Runnable


Ascent: 554' 169 m
Descent: -554' -169 m
High: 3,791' 1,155 m
Low: 3,372' 1,028 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 31% (17°)


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Trail shared by John Maurizi

This loop travels through some of the main highlights of the park such as lava tubes and petrified sand dunes.

John Maurizi

Features Views


The loop starts on the Lava Flow Trail and travels past several lava tubes that you can climb down into. The trail ends on West Canyon Road, then enters the Three Ponds Trail until the intersection with the Petrified Dunes Trail. Travel until you reach the Butterfly Trail, turning left to connect to the Lava Flow Trail and back to the parking area.

Need to Know

Parts of the Lava Flow Trail have deep sand and will slow your time down.


From the Lava Flow Trail parking lot, follow the trail down an easy grade through a lava flow with great views in front of you. The trail passes several lava tubes that you can drop down into. The Lava Flow Trail continues downhill and enters a dry wash. The trail gets a little difficult to find through here (I ran into a group that was lost). Do not stay in the dry wash for long! Watch for a small cairn on the right and exit the wash.

The trail meanders through brush on a deep sand trail. Follow the Trail Run Project mobile app here!

The Lava Flow Trail ends on the West Canyon Road, a dirt road not open to motorized vehicles. Turn left on the road and follow it until you reach the intersection with the Three Ponds Trail. Turn left and follow it to the intersection with the Petrified Dunes Trail. This is the best trail in the park and a photographer's paradise. Turn right for a short uphill viewpoint.

Head back and cross over the Three Ponds Trail and continue on the hard dunes. Take time to explore some great photo opportunities. From here, the trail climbs a steep slickrock hill. Watch for white blazes and eventually you'll see metal domes with white blazes marking the way. When in doubt, follow the tracks here. At the highest point, you'll have great views of Snow Canyon. Be sure to look down to see thousands of Moqui Balls.

The trail descends from this high point and ends on the Butterfly Trail. Follow the Butterfly Trail until it ends on the Lava Flow Trail. Turn right and retrace the trail back to the trailhead.


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Apr 17, 2019
crowded, entry fee 6mi
Nov 22, 2018

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