DescriptionEast of Holbrook, Petrified Forest National Park contains an abundance of petrified logs. Most of the brilliantly colored trees in the 140,000-acre park are prone, and many are in fragments. Early dinosaurs and other reptiles once roamed the area, and numerous fossil bones and fossil plants have been discovered in the park.
iStockphoto.com / George Burba
iStockphoto.com / Steven Love
General InformationThe park opens daily at 7, late Feb.-late Oct.; at 8, rest of year. Hours may vary due to season; phone ahead to confirm schedule.
The 28-mile drive through the park offers breathtaking views of the Painted Desert from Pintado Point and Kachina Point. Other scenic overlooks include Chinde, Nizhoni, Tawa, Tiponi and Whipple points. Petrified logs are common in the southern part of the park.
Westbound motorists on I-40 should use the northern entrance to avoid backtracking. Visitors can view the Painted Desert, ancient pueblos and petroglyphs, petrified log deposits and the Rainbow Forest Museum. Motorists should exit on US 180 and continue west to Holbrook. Eastbound motorists can use the southern (Rainbow Forest) entrance off US 180, 19 miles from Holbrook, to see the same attractions in reverse order, then exit onto I-40 east. Allow 3 hours minimum.
Within the park it is unlawful to gather plants, sand, rocks or specimens of petrified wood of any size whatsoever; archeological and other paleontological material is likewise protected. Violations are punishable by heavy fines and imprisonment. Curio stores sell a variety of polished specimens collected from privately owned land outside the park.
There are no overnight accommodations in the park; backpack camping is allowed by free permit only for hikers staying overnight in one of the park's two designated wilderness areas. Picnic sites are near the Rainbow Forest Museum and on the Painted Desert rim at Chinde Point. Gas, oil and food services are available next to the Painted Desert Visitor Center.
ADMISSIONADMISSION to the park is $20 (per private vehicle), $10 (per person arriving by other means).
PETSPETS are permitted in the park only if they are leashed, crated or otherwise physically restricted at all times. With the exception of service animals, pets are not permitted in park buildings.
ADDRESSADDRESS inquiries to the Superintendent, Petrified Forest National Park, P.O. Box 2217, Petrified Forest National Park, AZ 86028; phone (928) 524-6228.
Things to SeeAgate Bridge
Horizontal fragments of petrified logs and fossils of long-departed dinosaurs and plants dot the multicolored, rugged landscape.