• Jasper Forest is magical in twilight, particularly the logs on stone pedestals

    Petrified Forest

    National Park Arizona

Things To Do

Painted Desert Visitor Center

Painted Desert Visitor Center is located at the north end of the park off Interstate 40.

NPS Photo

If you have one hour:

  • Stop at the Painted Desert Visitor Center
  • Drive through the park (28 miles)
  • Stop at Kachina Point
  • Drive Blue Mesa Road
  • Stop at Rainbow Forest Museum

National Park Service Facilities Hours

Old Faithful log along the Giant Logs Trail

A visitor examines Old Faithful log along the Giant Logs Trail.

Photo by Marge Post/NPS

If you have several hours, add....

Painted Desert filled with clouds during a temperature inversion

Painted Desert sometimes fills with clouds during rare temperature inversions.

Marge Post/NPS

If you have half a day, add....

  • Walk the trails at Painted Desert Rim, Blue Mesa, Crystal Forest, Long Logs and Agate House.
  • Attend several Ranger Programs

If you have a day or more, add....

  • Hike into the Wilderness Area
Painted Desert Plaza

Painted Desert Plaza

NPS Photo

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

Museum Association bookstores are offered at the Painted Desert Visitor Center, Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark, and the Rainbow Forest Museum. Giftshops are located nearby the visitor center and museum.

Need Gas?
There is a gas station available next to the Painted Desert Visitor Center. Gas stations are also located in nearby communities.

Did You Know?

red badlands

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.