To get to the trailhead: From Holbrook area, take I-40 East to exit 311 (24 miles). The North entrance to the Petrified Forest National Park is here. The signed turn-off to the Blue Mesa loop drive is about 15 miles from the north entrance. Turn left and take this road 2.6 miles to the pullout on the right side of the road.
To get to the south entrance to the Petrified Forest National Park, take HWY-180 south-east 19 miles to the South entrance of the park. The turn-off to the Blue Mesa loop drive is about 11 miles from the south entrance.
30 yr old Recommendation: A nice opportunity to get down inside the painted desert and get a good look. The hike described here is an Easy hike.
Hike Blue Mesa in Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.
The painted desert consists of mounds and hills of rock, mud, and clay that are stained in different colors. This is a good opportunity inside the park to get up close and personal to these hills. There are also a multitude of petrified rocks around to add to the experience.
The trail well marked and parts are paved. It starts from the Blue Mesa trail head along the Blue Mesa loop drive. The trail starts along a ridge and then quickly descends down the ridge to the bottom of the desert. The steep section of the trail is paved, making access easier. The trail then loops along the bottom of the desert, with exhibits pointing out the interesting features of the area.