Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

This off-the-beaten-path, 2-mile round-trip hike takes you to some stunning petroglyphs. Park next to the bridge at mile marker 22 and head west along a dry wash, aptly named Dry Wash. There is no formal trail here, so bring a GPS and plenty of water. The butte, a prominent hill with large stones on top, is easy to spot. Follow the wash for about a third of a mile until you see the butte, then head out of the wash directly toward the butte.

Wander around the large clay hill and look for carvings in the rock. They are all over the place. Please do not touch any of the rock art; oils from the skin can damage this ancient art. Also, please do not add your own carvings. Observe and enjoy these mysterious markings and try to guess their meaning.

Among the hundreds of petroglyphs there are solstice clocks, lizards, and fertility symbols carved into the sandstone patina. Walker’s Stump can be found just east of the Butte. Walker’s Stump is a nearly vertical petrified log eroding out of the hillside. These petrified logs were deposited over 200 million years ago, and all of their original wood has since been replaced by stone, preserving the shape and form of these ancient trees. Keep an eye out for artifacts, but please do not disturb them. Taking petrified wood is prohibited. It’s bad luck, too!

Martha’s Butte is located in Petrified Forest National Park. This park is different from most other national parks in that there are no campgrounds in the park, and access to this park is strictly controlled in order to protect the valuable petrified wood here. Opening and closing times change during different times of the year.

Park Hours

  • January 1 to March 4: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • March 5 to May 13: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • May 14 to August 5: 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • August 6 to September 2: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • September 3 to October 28: 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • October 29 to December 31: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.​

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Pros

Short hike. Petroglyphs.

Cons

Windy. Hot in the summer. No trail.

Trailhead Elevation

5,589.00 ft (1,703.53 m)

Net Elevation Gain

111.00 ft (33.83 m)

Features

Historically significant
Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide

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