Fall 2013: Highway Interchange Bridge Work
Painted Desert Traffic Interchange (I-40 Exit 311) may be closed for construction. Check here for updates from Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT): More »
Nov. 2012-July 2013, due to bank error credit cards may not have been charged for your entrance fee
...due to a bank error credit cards may not have been charged for your entrance fee, even if you received a receipt from the entrance station. The error was corrected on Sept. 26th, 2013. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Explorers and Settlers
Standing at the edge of a colorful sea of badlands and mesas, a Spanish explorer named the region El Desierto Pintado-the Painted Desert-or so the story goes. No mention was made of petrified wood, but the Spanish of the 16th through 18th centuries were focused on finding routes between their colonies along the Rio Grande and the Pacific Coast. Within Petrified Forest National Park, Spanish inscriptions have been discovered from the late 1800s, descendents of some of the earliest non-American Indian settlers in the region.
Whipple Expedition of 1853
E. F. Beale and the U.S. Camel Corps
Pioneers and Homesteading
Did You Know?
On clear days in the Southwest, especially on crisp, cold winter days, you can see landscape features almost 100 miles away!