Petrified Forest

Museum Demonstration Lab

Visitors Welcome!

Open Wednesday - Sunday*
9 am - 3 pm

*Starting December 13, the Demo Lab will shift to Wednesday - Saturday schedule.
Interior of a labratory with decorative curtains and two tables with fossils on them.
Inside view of the Museum Demonstration Lab where scientists work on projects from Petrified Forest National Park's museum collection, such as fossils and artifacts.

NPS Photo / Diana Boudreau

The Museum Demonstration Lab at the Painted Desert Visitor Center is where you can see one-of-a-kind fossils from Petrified Forest National Park being prepared by trained paleontologists! Peek through the window to see fossils from the museum collection. Watch a live microscope feed on the TV as paleontologists remove rock from fossil bone. Chat with scientists via a two-way, hands-free speaker.

Starting March 6, 2023 construction projects will be occuring around the Painted Desert Community Complex. These projects may impact Demo Lab operations, so please check our website or event calendar prior to your visit!

Demo Lab will be closed the following days:
Thursday Nov 23 - Thanksgiving Day
Wednesday December 27 - Staff on leave for Christmas holiday
Thursday Dececember 28 - Staff on leave for Christmas holiday


Dig Deeper

Paleontologists at Petrified Forest actively work with outside researchers to reconstruct a detailed history of life during the Late Triassic, and exciting new research has resulted in multiple published research articles in just the last few years. The Museum Demonstration Lab has been THE primary place for park staff to share these scientific discoveries with visitors, often showcasing the fossils themselves before they go on exhibit or into collections. The diversity and exceptionality of fossils in the Museum Demonstration Lab and direct interaction with paleontologists is what makes it a must see for visitors coming to Petrified Forest.

Learn more about an exciting new microvertebrate locality we've been researching!

Join Petrified Forest Paleontologists for a "Day in the Life"
An 8 part mini-series created for a virtual National Fossil Day event to show what happens to a fossil from grave to cradle.

Become a Junior Paleontologist!
Discover, learn about, and protect park fossils by completing the activity booklet and earn your Junior Paleontologist badge.

Celebrate National Fossil Day at Petrified Forest
See what events are happening at Petrified Forest for the annual National Fossil Day celebration.

Small but Mighty: Petrified Forest National Park's Public Fossil Preparation Lab Grows Despite COVID-19 Pandemic
A brief article highlighting the changes to the Museum Demonstration Lab during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond!

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Last updated: December 2, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Petrified Forest National Park
P.O. Box 2217

Petrified Forest, AZ 86028-2217


928 524-6228

Contact Us