Petrified Forest National Monument is administered by the National Park Service of the United States Department of the Interior. A superintendent is in immediate charge of the area and his headquarters are in the Rainbow Forest. The post-office address for the monument is Holbrook, Ariz.
All visitors are invited to see the Rainbow Forest Museum. Here are displayed many outstanding examples of polished petrified wood, quartz, and amethyst, as well as a diorama, fossils, minerals, charts, etc., explaining the formation of the petrified forests and badlands. During the summer months a short talk is given each hour in this museum, and, as circumstances permit, guided tours through the Rainbow Forest are conducted by ranger-naturalists. Other exhibits may be seen at the Puerco River Ranger Station and at the Painted Desert Museum. All of these services are free of charge.
ACCOMMODATIONS AND SUPPLIES
Lodging, meals, gasoline, tourist supplies, and curios may be obtained at the Rainbow Forest Lodge near the south entrance to the monument as well as at the Painted Desert Inn on the Painted Desert Rim Drive. The rate for lodging at the Rainbow Forest Lodge is $1.50 for a housekeeping cabin with accommodations for two. At the Painted Desert Inn a few double rooms are available at $2.50 per day. These rates may change slightly, but the latest rates approved by the Secretary of the Interior are on file at the Superintendent's office.
A small campground at the Rainbow Forest, equipped with tables, ramadas, and water supply is available for the free use of campers.
The nearest towns where cabin, hotel, store, and garage facilities are available are Holbrook, Ariz., 20 miles west; Gallup, N. Mex., 70 miles east; and St. Johns, Ariz., 45 miles southeast.
Excellent paved approach roads make Petrified Forest National Monument easily accessible by car. U. S. Highway 66, crossing the area near the Painted Desert, is the approach from the east. Travelers from the southeast, south, and west enter the monument from U. S. Highway 260. The monument highway connects these two main arteries of travel and leads through the more interesting parts of the monument.
West-bound travelers on Highway 66 may turn south from the Painted Desert, travel through the monument to Highway 260 and rejoin Highway 66 at Holbrook, adding only 16 miles to their journey.
East-bound travelers on highway 66 may take Highway 260 at Holbrook, pass through the Petrified Forest and rejoin Highway 66 at the Painted Desert, adding only 16 miles to their trip.
East-bound travelers' on highway 260 should take Highway 66 at Holbrook to the Painted Desert, thence travel south through the Petrified Forest to Highway 260. The added distance is 26 miles.
West-bound travelers on highway 260 may go through the monument and continue west from the Painted Desert with an increase of only 26 miles in the total trip.
Painted Desert Rim Drive branches north from Highway 66, circles the rim of the Painted Desert, and rejoins Highway 66, adding but 2-1/2 miles to the distance traveled.
Closed at Night.The monument highway is open from 7 a. m. to 7:30 p. m. in summer, and from 7:30 a. m. to 5:30 p. m. in winter the schedule more or less following day light hours.
Entrance Fees.Permits, good for the calendar year, are issued at the entrance stations. Fees are 50¢ per car or motorcycle, and 50¢ for a house trailer.
Trails.The monument highway passes close to most of the important scenic areas, but all visitors are encouraged to follow some of the short foot trails that lead into the forests in order to inspect the petrified wood. It is necessary to see the petrified wood at close range in order to appreciate fully the beauty of the colors. These short trails start at conveniently located parking areas and lead through the Rainbow Forest, the Second, Third, and Blue Forests, and to the Agate Bridge, Newspaper Rock, and the Puerco River Indian Ruins.
Railroad Tunnel.The Sante Fe Railroad passes through the monument. Travelers by rail may obtain privately operated cars in Gallup, N. Mex., and Holbrook and Winslow, Ariz., for tours through the monument.
Last Updated: 14-Aug-2009