The last thing I did at Petrified Forest on both visits is hiking the Agate House and Long Logs loop trail by the Painted Desert Museum.
My friend Michelle from Head Along With Heart posted about this over the winter last year and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to see it. This was really the only hike I knew I wanted to do while I was there.
I was very excited for the Agate House and knew nothing about the Long Logs but I loved those, too. On our first visit here, we were on a time crunch for this hike.
If you didn’t know, the park closes at 5 PM and you’ve gotta be out by then. We weren’t sure if we’d have enough time to do this hike and get out in time.
We gave it a shot and made it with a little time to spare. We started with the Agate House. There is a bit of a hill to go up to get here, but it’s still easy. The whole trail has like, 96 feet of elevation gain.
The hike to this is not thrilling. It’s basically prairie grasses along the trail and wide open space. It’s not bad but the trail isn’t the highlight of this part.
As you get closer to the house you’ll see more small wood pieces along the trail but there aren’t any huge stumps or logs on this section.
The agate house is an eight room, partially reconstructed pueblo that was occupied for about 300 years from 900 to 1200. It was built with agate instead of the traditional sandstone of the area.
We spent a little time here before heading back to the Long Logs trail fork. Like other areas of the park, the trail and surrounding area is dotted with petrified wood from tiny pieces to human sized hunks.
Along the trail you can see logs that are 30+ feet long, laying down, perfectly broken up like someone sliced them, on both sides of the trail, buried under the clay and trail itself.
There are even logs that, laying on their sides, were almost as tall as me! That’s so wild! Five foot wide logs. Five feet wide! And like 40 or 50 feet long! And that’s just the part that’s left! It blows my mind.
I was most impressed with the colors in Jasper forest but the size of the petrified logs here was the most impressive, for sure. And it’s not just one massive log, it’s dozens of them, all over.
This section of trail is also easy and just forks off from the main trail. There is a little shaded area where the trail splits off but that’s all on the whole thing.
I really liked this trail and would definitely recommend it if you like archaeology and want to see huge logs. If you want a really short trail for giant logs, the Giant Logs trail by the museum is perfect. It’s very short and takes maybe 30 minutes to do.
Where is the Agate House trailhead?
The Agate House and Long Logs trailhead is about 26 miles (50 minutes) from the Painted Desert Visitor Center and in the same parking lot as the Rainbow Forest Museum at the opposite end of the park.
How long is the Agate House and Long Logs loop?
If you combine the two hikes, which I would recommend doing because it’s shorter than doing them separately, it’s 2.6 miles round-trip. Agate House on it’s own is two miles round-trip and Long Logs is 1.6 miles round-trip.
Is the Agate House and Long Logs loop hard?
Nope! It’s a little longer than the other trails I’ve covered, especially if you combine them, but it’s still easy going. There is little elevation gain and the hardest part is probably just that there isn’t shade.
Is the Agate House and Long Logs loop worth it?
Yes! I like this trail a lot. I love ruins and seeing a house made of agate was very cool for me. I also love the logs on the Long Logs trail. I counted my steps along one and it was like, 32 of my steps! That’s wild!
If I could only do two hikes in the park, I think I would do this loop and the Blue Mesa trail. Then maybe the Jasper Forest, then the Crystal Forest, then Giant Logs. I haven’t done all the hikes in the park but these are the main ones and I’ve done all of them.
That’s the order I would prioritize them in but it’s more convenient to just go in order down the park road. So it really just depends on how much time you have. One whole day and you could do all of them, it’s just a lot of hiking in one day.
Have you hiked the Long Logs and Agate House loop? What did you think of it? Do you want to? What is your favorite hike in the park?