Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile
What is it?
Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile is a series of igneous rocks (cooled molten lava) that comprise what appear to be very large stacks of wood logs almost as if a giant, such as Paul Bunyan, had purposely laid these rocks in neat stacks. The columns of stone are up to one foot wide in diameter and up to 15 feet long.
How was it formed?
Some scientists have concluded that the Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile formations were created when lava (molten rock) pushed up through crevices and created these rock dikes. As the lava cooled it began to fracture in prismatic patterns with flat sides and well-creased edges, and each were formed with between three and seven sides.
This area surrounding Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile was once a large volcano that ceased erupting, for a time, and then restarted. With the resumption of lava flow this area was somehow ideal for the creation of these woodpile like formations. There is also a 20′ arch that has been eroded into the largest woodpile dike. Arches are typically created primarily by water entering rock crevices and then as the water freezes and expands it forces the rock to separate. Evidence of this process can be seen in the many strewn boulders around the arch, which is located on the eastern edge of Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile site. Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile is an assortment of different woodpiles (stone formations) that are strewn across the southwest edge of a hillside.
Where is it? / How to get there?
Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile is accessible by vehicle about 28 minutes south of Eureka, Utah, or approximately 41 minutes due west of Nephi, Utah, on Highway 6. View map below. There is a three mile dirt road that leads to the trail-head.
Trail Distance & Difficulty
The hike is approximately .5 miles each direction with an estimated 500′ elevation climb to the top of the hill where most of the Paul Bunyan Woodpiles are situated.