Specimen Ridge
Specimen Ridge
5

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles6 reviews
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5
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wer
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021 • Business
I hiked up to Specimen Ridge when I worked on a Blister Rust crew in 1968. No trails then and spectacular views. Above the tree line, we heard a rustle, went and looked, and saw 10 to 12-inch bear prints and we hiked much faster down to the tree line! I would love to go back there as a truly beautiful country!
Written 24 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jenell J
Salem, WI100 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Family
This is marked as a very strenuous hike and should be. It is a steep elevation and most of it is is a reasonably well marked trail until the top. Once you reach the elevation sign there is one visible stump approx 100 yards up and to the left, but the rest was not as easy to find, from the stump continue straight up and veer right to the ridge where you will find rest of the petrified forest. We did encounter one small bear on the way, he was curious not aggressive, he also stopped another group of two hikers who were shouting and trying to scare it away as well. As a larger group we were able to keep an eye on him and retreat back down the hill. Use caution and be aware on this trail, but it is worth the effort.
Written 18 June 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jesse o
Jackson, WY6 518 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2017 • Friends
While the other reviews here praise the 27 km specimen ridge trail which is outstanding on its own merits, I choose to review the ridge itself for its namesake petrified trees which are missed on the hiking trail. These are displayed prominently in park materials so I don’t have qualms about drawing attention to a sensitive area as rangers are happy to provide directions.
Please know upfront is is illegal to remove any item from the park including fossilized wood.
Ten or eleven kilometers east of tower junction, park on the south side of the road just before the first crossing of the Lamar River, I believe it’s called the crystal creek pullout, and hike uphill to the southwest. The trail is easy to find and I expect you won’t be alone. On this, my third visit after having seen nobody else on two previous hikes here during past Septembers seeing nobody, we encountered four other parties. The trail can be strenuous, climbing over 2.5 km to almost 400 meters above the road to the famous three trees seen in many photos but keep your eyes open for other upright or horizontal logs. One one trip I counted no fewer than forty though that included much off trail searching below the famous three over insecure terrain; please be careful and don’t disturb the fragile slopes. On this trip I went higher that the three, up to a wonderful viewpoint above 2,400 meters and saw ten petrified trees total but also bighorn sheep and pronghorn.
This is an amazing place. Where park signage once claimed that 27 successive forests are represented here, in all the strata, buried where they grew during Eocene volcanism over eons of time, newer research at Mt. St. Helen’s illustrate how these all came from the same event as their growth rings match and the roots are missing. It is remarkable to consider that trees from more temperate zones are found here at high elevation as mute testimonial to forces predating the caldera forming eruptions of more recent time.
Off to the northeast the Beartooth Mountains including Montana’s highest point loom.
This is a place to humble and uplift.
And it is only a sampling of what is estimated to be 10,359 sporadically populated (“specimened”) hectares of petrified trees over at least seven locations in the park!
It is a place of wonder.
Written 12 October 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul W
Homosassa, FL98 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2015 • Solo
I am now 60. Still going up and down the hills in Yellowstone and the Tetons. I was lucky enough to get summer work so I have the chance to explore the places i had heard of. My work friends suggested Specimin Ridge. You can hike the trail from the Yellowstone picnic area from Roosevelt jct. towards Lamar. I went on past that to the first large pullout on the left and the trail head is directly across the road. There is a sign showing a hiker. As I made the trek across the open meadow I was watched by a pronghorn that had a fawn. As I was walking she hid the baby in the sagebrush and then ran a short distance away and stopped to see where I was headed. I kept walking and she made no attempt to go back as low nag as I was in sight. Pretty neat to see. I followed the trail until I started on a steeper section. The trail goes to the right on the hillside. Something I discovered later because the trail marker was down and I didn't notice until I made the return hike. I went a much steeper route more to the left but up to the ridge. The trail is easy to lose due to all the game trails on the ridge. The good part is once up there you have the Lamar Valley on the left and the Yellowstone River on your right. There were more pronghorn on the ridge that were facing into the wind which allowed me to get very close. The views are incredible. There are petrified trees on the ridge also so there is a lot to see and explore. I think the view of the Yellowstone River is the best in the park. You are directly across from Tower Falls at one point. It was not difficult and worth the trip. Just take your time and hike at your own pace. On the return trip there was quite a crowd at the pullout where I parked. There was a black bear with three cubs on the hillside behind the pond on your left coming down the trail. It was a good day.
Written 17 February 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LoveandLive2Travel
Denver, CO372 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015 • Business
Our groups of teens divided and explored different sections of Specimen Ridge. Some hiked up the ridge and saw beautiful views of the valley below and Yellowstone River. Everyone enjoyed the dozens of bones, antlers, spinal columns, skulls, and more along the hikes. Seeing Wolf #9's old den was a poignant highlight.
Written 18 November 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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SPECIMEN RIDGE: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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