Petit Jean State Park

Petit Jean

Summary of our trip experience

We spent 5 nights at Petit Jean State Park in the spring of 2010 and had a fantastic trip.  I highly recommend a visit to Petit Jean for the hiking and overlooks.  The full hook up RV campground is the nicest state park campground that we have stayed at as well.  Keep reading below for our recommend itineraries and advice on planning your trip.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us through our Contact Page.

Recommended Itineraries

Below are 3 Day and 1 Day recommended itineraries for your visit to Petit Jean State Park, based on my family’s 5 day visit to Petit Jean State Park.

3 Day Itinerary

Day 1

  1. Mary Ann Richter Overlook
  2. CCC Overlook
  3. Hike the Rock House Cave Trail
  4. Cedar Falls Overlook
  5. Hike the Bear Cave Trail
  6. Palisades Overlook
    • recommend at sunset

Day 2

  1. Hike Cedar Falls Trail
  2. Go for a Canoe or Kayak paddle on Lake Bailey
    • rentals are available at the park
  3. Petit Jean Gravesite and Overlook

Day 3

  1. Hike 7 Hollows Trail
    • be sure to take the side trail up into the Grotto mid way through the hike
  2. Pioneer Cabin
  3. CCC Water Tower

If you have additional days or time, add this:

  1. Hike the Cedar Creek Trail
  2. Hike the out and back Canyon Trail off of the Cedar Falls Trail
    • Look down into the creek water pools  and blue hole area to see the fish swimming

If You Only Have 1 Day

  1. Petit Jean Gravesite and Overlook
  2. Hike Cedar Falls Trail
  3. Mary Ann Richter Overlook
  4. CCC Overlook
  5. Hike the Rock House Cave Trail (optional depending on time)
  6. Cedar Falls Overlook
  7. Hike the Bear Cave Trail (optional depending on time)
  8. Palisades Overlook

General Advice

You could actually hang out at Petit Jean State Park for a whole week and spread the hikes out between some great relaxation or take a couple of the hikes twice.  I would have liked to have more time to just sit at some of the overlooks.


This is a great park with kids.  The hike down to Cedar Falls is a bit steep, but doable at your own risk of course.  My oldest was only 2 years old, so I did this hike on my own.  The Bear Cave and Rock House Cave Trails are very short hikes and kids will find the rock formations really entertaining.  I would be careful around a couple of the overlooks though as there are steep drop offs and there are not always fenced off.

Average Temperatures

Weather Channel


Lots of camping options from rustic, group and very nice full hook up RV sites.  Check the links at the bottom of the page for our campground reviews.

Trip Reports

My Trip Report – A Week At Petit Jean State Park – Spring 2010

Campground Reviews

My Campground Review – Petit Jean State Park Campground Review


Petit Jean State Park –

Petit Jean State Park
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  • Last modified: May 6, 2016