I had the pleasure to visit Petit Jean State Park this past weekend. It’s a beautiful place.
The local legend is that Petit Jean was named after a young girl who died there. Originally from France, her fiancee was to embark on an exploration of the new world. She was distraught that he was leaving without her, so she disguised herself as a young sailor boy and applied for a job on the ship her fiancee would be traveling on. Rumor has it that she was given the job, and her disguise was so convincing, even her fiancee did not recognize her. She contracted a disease and died on her travels, and a memorial grave is located on the eastern side of the mountain.
First up on our trip was a little drive and stop at the ranger’s station. We then went to the lodge, and went walking down to the waterfall before we waited for the sun to set. The fall was pretty large due to the recent rains. I found some beautiful moss along the way, that only made me wish I’d brought my macro lens.
The park has redone Mather’s Lodge. It’s absolutely beautiful and a huge improvement. Here is a view of the sun setting right out the back of Mather’s Lodge. Do you see the plateau on the right? That is the CCC Overlook, where I took the next of the images.
These next two are at the CCC Overlook. As I mentioned before, I got married here almost 7 years ago. It’s such a pretty place. You can get a good look of the entire mountain and valley there. And the westward view is a great opportunity to see beautiful sunsets on a daily basis.
If you have the opportunity, I’d highly recommend you and your family visit Petit Jean State Park. There are a lot of nice hiking trails, and plenty of stops along the way where you can enjoy a picnic lunch. I’d recommend you finish your visit watching the sun set on the west side of the mountain.