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Petrified Forest National Park, AZ

National Park or Monument
Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark-now serves as a museum and bookstore – NPS

ADA Accessibility Notes

All facilities and most areas in the park are accessible.

Petrified Forest National Park and Painted Desert Visitor Center lies in northeast Arizona about 25 miles east of Holbrook on Interstate 40. Petrified Forest has a north entrance off I-40 exit 311 by the Visitor Center, and a south entrance from US 180; the paved road through the park is 28 miles long. The Park provides multi-colored badlands of the painted desert, petrified wood (some entire tree trunks), and archaeological sites with fossils - one of the worlds largest concentration of such sites. The park offers a number of hiking trails for those who prefer a more intimate experience.

It's hard to fit this park into a category, because it has so much to offer. Those with interests in Geology, archaeology, palaeentology, historic buildings, or ecology will all find something to enjoy in the Petrified National Forest National Park. With one of the world's largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood, multi-hued badlands of the Painted Desert, historic structures, archaeological sites, native grassland, and displays of over 200-million-year-old fossils, this is a surprising land of scenic wonders and fascinating science.

Petrified Forest was originally set aside due to the amazing deposit of petrified logs. There is so much more! Fossils of more than 200 different species of plants, animal fossils from invertebrates to giant reptiles. Petrified Forest is a living laboratory. We have scientists on staff and a working fossil preparation laboratory.

There is a restaurant next to the Painted Desert Visitor Center, as well as a convenience store for snacks. Some snacks are also available at the curio shop at Rainbow Forest

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are permitted on maintained trails and must be on a leash; pets are not allowed within the wilderness area or on the wilderness access trail near Painted Desert Inn.

No pets are allowed in buildings.

Recreational Opportunities

A circle drive will take you to the areas of interest withing the park. The park road, parking lots, and pull outs are suitable for large recreation vehicles, including those towing smaller vehicles. Off-road vehicle travel is not allowed within the park, including mountain bikes. Travel time through the park is at least 45 minutes, though an average visit is two to three hours with stops at viewpoints or trails along the park road.


Seasons Accessible

The park is open year-round except Christmas.

The park is open at different hours during the year. Hour Changes For 2010 (times are Mountain Standard year-round--this area does not observe Daylight Savings):

Jan 1 - Feb 27 8 A.M. to 5P.M.

Feb 28 - May 8 7 A.M. to 6 P.M.

May 9 - Sept 6 7 A.M. to 7 P.M.

Sept 7 - Oct 23 7 A.M. to 6 P.M.

Oct 24 - Dec 31 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.

Visitor Center and Rainbow Forest Museum are open the same hours as the park.
Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark (a museum and bookstore only) is open nine A.M. to 5 P.M. MST year-round


Entrance fees per car; $10 ; Annual pass for Petrified forest, $20. Veterans and active military, free on Nov. 11.

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