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.
Horseback riding at Petrified Forest National Park can be a unique and rewarding experience. You can ride for a few hours or a few days. Be prepared, check the weather conditions, and know the limits of yourself and your horse.
Two miles north of the Painted Desert Visitor Center, is the wilderness access trail near Kachina Point, on the northwest side of Painted Desert Inn. Here you will find trailer parking and loading/unloading room. Please park your trailer so that it does not interfere with vehicle traffic flow.
Water for horses may be obtained at the service station by the Painted Desert Visitor Center. No water is available in the wilderness area.
For those who wish to stay overnight in the Wilderness Area, a free permit must be obtained from either the Painted Desert Visitor Center or Rainbow Forest Museum. You must be in a designated zone north of Lithodendron Wash before setting up camp. No campsites are maintained in the Wilderness Area. Group camping is limited to 8 people and 4 horses. Go to the Backcountry page for more information.
Rules, Regulations, and Safety Points
Did You Know?
Standing on the edge of a vast badlands landscape, a Spanish explorer is rumored to have named the area "El Desierto Pintado" (The Painted Desert) because the hills looked like they were painted with the colors of the sunset.