Places To Go
Exploring Petrified Forest National Park
Painted Desert Visitor Center provides information, book sales, exhibits, and restrooms. Timeless Impressions, a free orientation film about the park, is shown every half hour. A restaurant, gift shop, gas station, and convenience store are adjacent to the visitor center.
Tiponi, Tawa, Kachina, Chinde, Pintado, Nizhoni, Whipple, And Lacey Points are overlooks providing panoramic views of the red part of the Painted Desert.
Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark, located at Kachina Point, once served as a respite for travelers along historic Route 66. From the inn, you may view distant vistas and exhibits while touring this historic building.
Puerco Pueblo, a large archeological site, was occupied over 600 years ago. The pueblo has been partially excavated and a few of the room foundations stabilized. The trail also features petroglyphs.
Newspaper Rock has more than 650 petroglyphs adorning boulders below the overlook. Due to defacement of these petroglyphs and unstable hillsides, the area is closed below the cliff. Free spotting scopes are available at the viewpoint.
Blue Mesa is an ideal setting to see the effect of erosion on badland hills. The one-way spur road leads to the mesa top, a four-mile round trip from the main park road. Petrified wood can be seen from the overlooks along the road as well as the trail.
Jasper Forest showcases bluffs which once encased the petrified wood now strewn across the valley floor.
Crystal Forest, Long Logs, Agate House, and Giant Logs are all trails that feature the many wonders of Petrified Forest. Refer to the Trails section for more information.
Rainbow Forest Museum provides exhibits of petrified wood, fossils, and displays of prehistoric animals as well as information, book sales, and restrooms. Timeless Impressions, a free orientation film about the park, is shown every half hour. A gift shop and a seasonal snack bar are located nearby.
Did You Know?
Petroglyphs are sometimes calendars, marking events like the summer solstice with interactions between the glyph, the sun, and natural landscape features.