Escalante Petrified Forest State Park (435/826-4466, www.stateparks.utah.gov , $6 day use, $16 camping), just northwest of the town of Escalante , offers camping, boating, fishing, picnicking, hiking, a visitor center with displays of petrified wood and dinosaur bones, and a chance to see petrified wood along trails.
Rivers of 140 million years ago carried trees to the site of present-day Escalante and buried them in sand and gravel. Burial prevented decay as crystals of silicon dioxide gradually replaced the wood cells. Mineral impurities added a rainbow of colors to the trees as they turned to stone. Weathering has exposed this petrified wood and the water-worn pebbles and sand of the Morrison Formation.
For a look at some colorful petrified wood, follow the Petrified Forest Trail from the campground up a hillside wooded with piñon pine and juniper. At the top of the 240-foot-high ridge, continue on a loop trail to the petrified wood; allow 45–60 minutes for the one-mile round-trip hike. The steep Rainbow Loop Trail (0.75 mile) branches off the Petrified Forest Trail to more areas of petrified wood.
The campground (800/322-3770, www.reserveamerica.com ) stays open all year and offers drinking water and showers but no hookups. The adjacent 139-acre Wide Hollow Reservoir offers fishing, boating, and bird-watching. The park is 1.5 miles west of Escalante  on Highway 12, then 0.7 mile north on a gravel road.