For our guests who don't have time to venture down Hole-In-The-Rock Road, we like to recommend a short hike in an ancient Petrified Forest. I love this 2 mile scenic loop late in the day, for the beautiful sunset ending overlooking the reservoir.
For the non-hikers, there's a lot of petrified wood to see on both sides of the parking area, including a huge tree. From the south side of the parking lot, the winding trail goes up the mesa. It's a bit steep, and not for everyone, but once at the top, the trail is pretty flat. Half way around the main 1 mile loop, you will find the optional 3/4 mile loop, which is highly recommended for the plentiful petrified wood, diverse terrain, and canyon view.
The Escalante Petrified Forest State Park is just west of Escalante. From town, take highway 12 about 3/4 of a mile, then look for Reservoir Rd on the right, which leads directly into the park, where there is also swimming and camping. Pay a minimal fee per car, pick up a map, then head to the right to find the trails at the foot of the mesa.