Superintendent's Compendium

In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (“36 CFR”), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 16 United States Code, Section 3, the following regulatory provisions are established for the proper management, protection, government and public use of those portions of Petrified Forest National Park under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.

Please send any written comments via USPS to:
Petrified Forest National Park
P.O. Box 2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028-2217
ATTN: Chief Ranger

Approved: /s/ Jeannine McElveen, March 7, 2023
Superintendent, Petrified Forest National Park



A. What is the Superintendent's Compendium?

The Petrified Forest National Park’s Superintendent's Compendium is the summary of park specific rules implemented under the discretionary authority of the park Superintendent. It serves as public notice with an opportunity for public comment, identifies areas closed for public use, provides a list of activities requiring either a special use permit or reservation, and elaborates on those public use and resources protection regulations that pertain to the specific administration of the park. It does not contain those regulations found in 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and other United States Codes (U.S.C.) and CFR Titles which are enforced without further elaboration at the park level.

The regulations contained in 36 CFR Parts 1-7 are the basic mechanism used by the National Park Service (NPS) to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of the park and to protect visitors and property within the park. Parts 1 through 6 are general regulations applicable to all areas of the National Park System, and Part 7 contains special regulations specific to individual parks. Each of these Parts has many sections and subsections articulating specific provisions. Within some of these Part 1-7 sections and subsections, the Superintendent is granted discretionary authority to develop local rules to be responsive to the needs of a specific park resource or activity, park plan, program, and/or special needs of the general public.

As an example; 36 CFR 1.5(a) Closures and Public Use Limits provides the Superintendent certain discretion in allowing or disallowing certain activities. The authority granted by this Section, however, requires the superintendent to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act (5 USC §551) which requires public notice on actions with major impact on visitor use patterns, park resources or those that are highly controversial in nature.

Another example is 36 CFR 1.6 Permits, which allows the Superintendent to require a permit for certain uses and activities in the park. This Section, however, requires that a list of activities needing a permit (and a fee schedule for the various types of permits) be maintained by the park.

This compendium should be used in conjunction with 36 CFR, Sections 1-7 to more fully understand the regulations governing the use and enjoyment of all the areas of the National Park System.

A copy of 36 CFR can be purchased from the U.S. Government Printing Office at:

U.S. Government Printing Office
PO Box 979050

St. Louis, MO 63197-9000
Or by calling: 866-512-1800

B. What laws and policies allow the Superintendent to develop this Compendium?

The NPS is granted broad statutory authority in 54 U.S.C. Section 100101(a) et.seq. (National Park Service Organic Act of 1916, as amended) to "...regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purposes of the said parks...which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment for future generations" (54 U.S.C. Section 100101). In addition, the Organic Act allows the NPS, through the Secretary of the Interior, to "make and publish such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary or proper for the use and management of the parks, monuments, and reservations under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service" ( 54 U.S.C. Section 100751).

In 1970, Congress amended the NPS Organic Act to clarify its intentions as to the overall mission of the NPS. Through the General Authorities Act of 1970 (54 U.S.C. Section 100101-
101301), Congress brought all areas administered by the NPS into one National Park System and directed the NPS to manage all areas under its administration consistent with the Organic Act of 1916.

In 1978, Congress amended the General Authorities Act of 1970 and reasserted system wide the high standard of protection defined in the original Organic Act by stating "Congress further reaffirms, declares, and directs that the promotion and regulations of the various areas of the National Park System, as defined by 54 U.S.C. Section 100101., shall be consistent with and founded in the purpose established by 54 U.S.C. Section 100101, to the common benefit of all people of the United States."

54 U.S.C. Section 100501 defines the National Park System as "...any areas of land and water now or hereafter administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the National Park Service for park, monument, historic, parkway, recreational, or other purposes." 36 CFR Section 1.7(b) requires the Superintendent to compile in writing all the designations, closures, permit requirement, and other restrictions imposed under discretionary authority. This compilation, called the Superintendent's Compendium, shall be updated annually and made available to the public upon request.

In addition to the above statutory authority, the Superintendent is also guided by established NPS policy as found in the NPS Management Policies (2006). As stated in this policy document, the primary responsibility of the NPS is to protect and preserve our national natural and cultural resources while providing for the enjoyment of these resources by visitors and other users, as long as use does not impair specific park resources or overall visitor experience. The appropriateness of any particular visitor use or recreational experience is resource based and will vary from park to park; therefore, a use or activity that is appropriate in one park area may not be appropriate in another. Each park Superintendent is directed to analyze overall park use and determine if any particular use is appropriate. Where conflict arises between use and resource protection, where the Superintendent has a basis to believe a resource is or would become impaired, then that Superintendent is obliged to place limitations on public use.
C. Does this Compendium comply with applicable Federal law and requirements?

The Superintendent's Compendium is not considered a significant rule requiring review by the
Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866.

D. How are the requirements of the Superintendent's Compendium developed?

As outlined above, the NPS has broad authority and responsibility to determine what types of uses and activities are appropriate in any particular National Park System area. The requirements of the Superintendent's Compendium are developed through an analysis and determination process for that particular NPS area. The decision criteria used during this process are:

  • Is the use or activity consistent with the National Park Service Organic Act and NPS policy?
  • Is the use or activity consistent and compatible with the park's enabling legislation, management objectives, and corresponding management plans?
  • Will the use or activity damage or impair the park's protected natural and cultural resources and other protected values?
  • Will the use or activity disturb or be in conflict with wildlife, vegetation, and environmental protection actions and values?
  • Will the use or activity conflict with or be incompatible with traditional park uses and activities?
  • Will the use or activity compromise employee or public safety?

E. Where does this Compendium apply?

The regulations contained in this Compendium apply to all persons entering, using, visiting or otherwise within the boundaries of federally owned lands and waters administered by the NPS as part of Petrified Forest National Park. This includes all water subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including all navigable waters and areas within their ordinary reach without regard to the ownership of the submerged lands or lowlands.

You can find this information on the park map, available at any park office or visitor contact station.
F. Who enforces the requirements of this Compendium?

Only NPS Law Enforcement Park Rangers or a crossed designated Law Enforcement Officer can enforce the requirements of the United States Code, CFR Titles, and this Superintendent's Compendium. However, many Federal laws and regulations have similar statutes found in state and local laws. Many of the requirements of this Compendium complement existing state and local laws and regulations which are also in effect within the park and enforced by State and local law enforcement officers.
G. Is there a penalty for not adhering to the requirements found in this Compendium?

A person who violates any provision of the regulations found in 36 CFR Parts 1-7, along with this Compendium, is subject to a fine as provided by law (18 U.S.C. 3571) up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months (18U.S.C. 3559), or both, and shall be adjudged to pay all court costs associated with any court proceedings. You may receive a list of fines associated with any particular provision by contacting the Chief Ranger at the park address found below.
H. How do I provide comment on this Compendium?
The park welcomes comments about its programs and activities at any time. Comments specific to the Superintendent's Compendium will be accepted anytime. Any changes to this Compendium recommended by the public or others, and accepted by the Superintendent, will be incorporated into this Compendium without further public comment and review.
Petrified Forest National Park
Box 2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028-2217
ATTN: Chief Ranger

I. When will the compendium become effective?
The Petrified Forest National Park’s Superintendent's Compendium will become effective on the date signed and remain in effect until superseded.
J. Is there anything else I need to know about this Compendium?
Some of the terms used in this Compendium may be unclear to you. If you are unsure about a specific term please consult 36 1.4 Definitions. Terms that may be unique to this Compendium will be defined. You may access the 36 Code Federal Regulations at:


36 CFR § Part 1 General Provisions


(a)(1) The following visiting hours and public use limits are established for all or for the listed portions of the park, and the following closures are established for all or a portion of the park to all public use or to a certain use or activity:

Visiting Hours

The park operating hours for 2022 are 8 AM to 5 PM (MST - No Daylight Savings).

Hours may be extended when personnel availability allows. Except as authorized by permit, public use of the park outside of these hours is prohibited.

Determination: Park visiting hours is open based upon personnel availability.

Public Use Limits

  1. Direct physical contact with rock art, which includes petroglyphs, is prohibited. Direct contact includes, but is not limited to: touching, making rubbings, molding, tracing, painting, brushing, outlining with chalk, or using air or gas compression.

Determination: This closure is to prevent any unacceptable impacts on park resources and values.

  1. During park closure hours park residents, employees not engaged in official work duties, and concession employees are prohibited from using motor vehicles on the closed portion of the park road. This does not apply to emergency or non-stop travel through the park to destinations at Rainbow Forest or Painted Desert, or by permission of the Chief Ranger or Superintendent. Closed sections of the park road may also be used by contractors or special use permit holders after closure hours, if provided for in contracts, permits, or agreements.

Determination: This closure is to prevent possible conflicts, maintain public health and safety, and prevent any unacceptable impacts on park resources and values.

  1. The parking/turnaround area next to park entrance sign at Exit #311 of Interstate 40 is restricted to Day Use Only, with a maximum two-hour use limit. See Map D.

Determination: The area is not an authorized camping area. This closure is necessary to prevent unauthorized camping, litter, and to prevent any unacceptable impacts on park resources and values.

  1. The employee (NPS and Concessioner) housing areas at Painted Desert and Rainbow Forest (including sewage ponds) are closed to the public without specific permission of a resident, the Chief Ranger, or Superintendent. See Map D and Map H.

Determination: This area is under Administrative closure and accessed by authorized personnel only.

  1. All vehicles, including buses, microbuses and vans, are prohibited from idling their engines and generators for extended periods of time. Idling shall not exceed five minutes during periods of inclement weather and two minutes all other times.

Determination: This closure is to prevent possible conflicts, maintain public health and safety, and prevent any unacceptable impacts on park resources and values.

  1. All devices/toys/alternative modes of travel; mechanical or self-propelled, (i.e. skateboards, gliders, planes, kites, etc.) are prohibited unless approved by the Superintendent. This section does not apply to motorized wheelchairs.

Segways (or similar devices) are considered motorized vehicles under the definition in 36 CFR, section 1.4. Their use is not allowed in the park, except by mobility-impaired persons using the device for locomotion. As stated in 36 CFR 1.2 (e), “The regulations in this chapter are intended to treat a mobility-impaired person using a manual or motorized wheelchair as a pedestrian, and are not intended to restrict the activities of such a person beyond the degree that the activities of a pedestrian are restricted by the same regulation.” Park visitors that are mobility-impaired are allowed to use Segways (or similar devices) on paved or finished surfaces throughout the park, including buildings, sidewalks, parking areas, and other surfaces when such devices are used for the sole purpose of mobility assistance. These devices may also be used on paved park trails, with the special caveat that there are numerous sections of trail that are inappropriate for use of Segways or motorized wheelchairs due to the uneven surface of the trail or the incline of the trail. It is up to the user of the device to limit their travel in these areas. Users of mobility assistive devices must also adhere to the following;
1. No person under 16 years of age may operate a Segway or similar device;
2. A person shall operate any mobility assistive device in a safe and responsible manner; maximum speed will not exceed 8mph (Segway sidewalk/Intermediate key), so as not to endanger the operator or other visitors;
3. A person riding any mobility assistive device shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances, except that the mobility assistive device operator must always yield to pedestrians.

Determination: This closure is to prevent possible conflicts, maintain public health and safety, and prevent any unacceptable impacts on park resources and values.

  1. The entire boundary of the park is closed to public entry from outside of the boundary, with the exception of the following:

  • The two main park entrances at each end of the park, marked and delineated by entrance stations.

  • The area known as the Devil’s Playground, accessed through federal and private lands. Permits for this access are issued at the park visitor centers.

  • The area near the Pinta Train Station only when accompanied by a park-sanctioned guide.

Access to park lands from other than the locations listed above may be allowed by permit or park-sponsored event only

Determination: This area is under Administrative closure and accessed by authorized personnel only.


Public Use Limits (UAS)

  1. Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Petrified Forest National Park is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent.

The term “unmanned aircraft” means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.

Determination: This closure is to prevent possible conflicts, maintain public health and safety, and prevent any unacceptable impacts on park resources and values.

Public Use Limits (Face Masks)

I. When the COVID-19 Community Level is LOW or MEDIUM in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals are not required to wear masks.

J. When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, all individuals over the age of two must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, in all common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops and restaurants.

When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in one or more, but not all, of the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, the superintendent will determine whether individuals are required to wear masks. The requirement, if any, will apply to all facilities within the park.

Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.

K. Regardless of the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals may wear masks if they choose to do so. Where a state, local, tribal, or territorial government where the park is located imposes more protective mask-wearing requirements than those indicated by the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals must follow those more protective requirements within the park. More protective state, local, tribal, or territorial mask-wearing requirements are hereby adopted as federal requirements in all units of the National Park System located within that state, locality, area subject to a federally recognized Indian tribe’s regulatory jurisdiction, or territory, regardless of a particular park’s jurisdictional status.

L. Additionally, all individuals must wear masks in or on public transportation conveyances and transportation hubs/facilities, to the extent required by current orders or directives issued by the CDC, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), or other federal agencies with jurisdiction over those conveyances or areas. As of March 4, 2022, CDC and TSA orders or directives require all individuals regardless of vaccination status to wear masks in indoor areas of all forms of public transportation conveyances, including busses, trains, and boats/ferries, and in the indoor premises of transportation hubs/facilities. Individuals are not required to wear masks while outdoors on conveyances or while outdoors on the premises of transportation hubs/facilities.

Determination: The policy of the Administration to halt the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) by relying on the best available data and science-based public health measures. (E.O. 13991) Such measures include wearing masks when around others, physical distancing, and other related precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Commercial Filming Permits on Park Land

Effective October 28, 2022, the National Park Service (NPS) has rescinded interim guidance that was in place during litigation regarding commercial filming and has returned to longstanding laws and regulations governing commercial filming in parks. View the updated guidance.



  1. All unpaved roads/areas (to include washes) within the park, and Old Highway 180, are closed to public vehicle use, unless authorized by the Superintendent. Old Route 66 from the park road to the East Boundary fence is closed to public vehicle use. Section 4.3 (Bicycles) lists additional park areas open to bicycle use.

Determination: These areas are closed to public vehicle use to prevent possible conflicts, maintain public health and safety, and prevent any unacceptable impacts on park resources and values. These areas are accessed by authorized personnel only.

  1. Except by permit from the Superintendent, the areas listed below are closed to the public at all times. Access by on-duty staff will be based on operational necessity and will be approved in advance by the Superintendent.

1. The Newspaper Rock area: North boundary – 3/4 mile north of the Newspaper Rock overlook; South boundary - 1/4 mile south of the Newspaper Rock overlook; West boundary - the dirt service road; East boundary - top of the cliffs. See Map A.

2. The Pedestal Log areas directly to the east of the first and second pullouts on the Blue Mesa Loop Road. See Map B.

3. The north cliff area at Blue Mesa. See Map I.

4.The area known as the Twin Buttes archeological site. See Map N.

5. The area east of the main park road opposite the Newspaper Rock road access. North boundary - an eastward extension of the east-west line beginning at the Newspaper Rock access road junction with the main park road extending eastward one mile; South boundary – 1 1/8 mile south of the north boundary paralleling the north boundary; East boundary – a north/south line from the north boundary to the south boundary; West boundary – the main park road. See Map A.

6. The cliff and rock wall that marks the southern boundary of the Chinde picnic area. See Map J.

7. The geographic landform known as Battleship Rock, west of Crystal Forest. See Map K.

8. The paleontological feature known as Agate Bridge. See Map L.

9. The geographic landform known as Golf Course Mesa above Petroglyph Canyon. See Map P.

10. All expansion boundary lands outside of the pre-2004 park boundaries, with the exception of those lands that are shown as open to general public use or to guided or permitted use. See Map O. Because these lands are currently a mix of federal, private and state ownership, further study needs to be completed on access and use issues before the rest of these expansion lands can be open to public use.

Due to physical safety concerns, Agate House is closed to the public. Visitors must stay a minimum of 15’ away from the structure. This closure remains in place until terminated in writing under the authority of Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 1, Section 1.5(a)(3).

Determination: These areas are under Administrative closure and accessed by authorized personnel only.

Unless guided by a park-sanctioned guide, the locations listed below are closed to the public at all times.

  1. The fenced area east of the main park road near milepost (8) eight, known as site PEFO245. See Map C.

  2. The petroglyph area at the south end of the Puerco Pueblo, beyond the area closed markers and above the trail that traverses the base of the mesa. See Map M.

  3. Lands designated as “Guided Only” on Map O to include lands acquired by purchase or available for park uses through permit and lease from the State of Arizona.


(f) The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the superintendent is required:

  • §1.5 (d) The following activities related to Public Use Limits: Access to the park outside normal operating hours, as listed in section 1, a1. Access to areas listed under section 1, closures.

  • §2.4 (d) Carry or possess a trap or net

  • §2.5 (a) Specimen collection (Take plants, wildlife, rocks, fossils or minerals)

  • §2.10 (a) Overnight camping.

  • §2.12 (a)(2) Operating a power saw in developed areas

(a)(3) Operation of any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine in non-developed areas
(a)(4) Operation of a public address system in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued pursuant to §2.50 or §2.51

  • §2.17 (a)(3) Delivery or retrieval of a person or object by parachute, helicopter or other airborne means.

(c)(1) Removal of a downed aircraft

  • §2.23 Special recreation activities

  • §2.37 Soliciting or demanding gifts, money goods or services

  • §2.38 (a) Use, possess, store, or transport explosives or blasting agents

(b) Use or possess fireworks.

  • §2.50 (a) Conduct a sports event, pageant, regatta, public spectacular attraction, entertainment, ceremony, and similar events.

  • §2.51 (a) Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expressions of views

  • §2.52 (c) Sale or distribution of printed matter that is not solely commercial advertising

  • §2.60 (b) Livestock use

  • §2.61 (a) Residing on federal lands

  • §2.62 (b) Memorialization - (Scattering ashes from human cremation) Issuance of permits suspended.

  • §4.11 (a) Exceeding of established vehicle load, weight and size limits

  • §5.1 Advertisements - (Display, posting or distribution.)

  • §5.2 (b) Sale of intoxicants in certain park areas (Regional Director approval required)

  • §5.3 Engaging in or soliciting any business (requires a permit, contract or other written agreement with the United States, or must be pursuant to special regulations)..

  • §5.6 (c) Use of commercial vehicles on park area roads (The superintendent shall issue a permit to access private lands within or adjacent to the park when access is otherwise not available)

  • §5.7 Construction of buildings, facilities, trails, roads, boat docks, path, structure, etc.

  • §5.10 (a) Operation of eating, drinking, or lodging establishments.

  • Part 11 Use of Arrowhead and Parkscape Symbols

  • Part 14 Rights-Of-Way

  • Part 17 Conveyance of Freehold and Leasehold Interests on NPS Lands

  • Part 18 Leases and Exchanges of Historic Property

  • Part 51 Concession Contracts


36 CFR § Part 2 Resource Protection, Public Use, and Recreation


(b) Hiking or pedestrian traffic is restricted to the trail tread or walkway on the following trails/walkways:

  • Giant Logs Trail*
  • Long Logs Trail*
  • Crystal Forest Trail*
  • Blue Mesa Trail
  • Newspaper Rock Approach Trail
  • Puerco Pueblo Trail
  • Painted Desert Rim Trail

Determination: These areas are under restricted use to prevent creation of social trails, maintain public health and safety, and prevent any unacceptable impacts on park resources and values.

*It is permissible to leave the back side of Crystal Forest and Long Logs trails when directly accessing areas east of those trails. The unpaved spur trail that extends from the back side of the Giant Logs Trail to the west to an overlook is also open to public use. In addition, the unpaved area immediately surrounding the “Old Faithful” log (Giant Logs Trail) is open to foot travel.

In areas of the park not listed above and not identified as a closed area in section 1 (Closures), it is permissible to walk cross- country.



(d) The transporting of lawfully taken wildlife through the park is permitted under the following conditions and procedures:

  • With approval by the Superintendent or their acting representative
  • A case by case basis

(e) The following areas are closed to the viewing of wildlife with the use of an artificial light:

  • All park areas

Determination: Prevent impact to wildlife in its natural settings. Night vision devices are not artificial lights; however, infrared lighting/beams are considered artificial lights and are included in the prohibition.


(d) In all other cases, a permit is required to possess a trap or net. The superintendent will only issue a permit to carry or possess a trap or net under the following circumstances:

(1) When necessary to support approved/permitted research activities.


(a) The sites and areas listed below have been designated for camping activities as noted. A permit system has been established for camping activities, and conditions for camping and camping activities are in effect as noted:

  • In the Painted Desert unit of the Wilderness Area, starting at least one linear mile from the trailhead at Kachina Point, or north of the Lithodendron Wash. Camping is also allowed in the back country area north of the Painted Desert Rim and south of the Lithodendron Wash, known as “Zone 5” on the camping zone map. Total campers are limited to 50 persons and 12 stock animals per night (see also group size limits below). See Map E.
  • In the Rainbow Forest unit of the Wilderness Area, starting at least a half mile southeast of the main park road in the Flattops Wilderness Area. Total campers are limited to 25 persons and 6 stock animals per night (see also group size limits below). See Map E.
  • Guided groups may camp at designated campsites as long as they are self-contained, practice leave no trace principles, and employ a means of hauling refuse and human waste away with them.

(b2) Refuse must be packed out of the wilderness by the user.
(b9) Camping is allowed for not more than a total of 30 days in any calendar year park-wide.

Group size is limited as follows;

1. Eight (8) person limit per group staying in the wilderness overnight.
2. Use of campsites is limited to eight (8) persons.
3. There is a limit of six (6) head of pack and saddle stock per party. All food and water must be packed in.

Camping in the park without a permit is prohibited. A permit may be obtained for a maximum of 14 consecutive days. Wilderness and Zone 5 campsites must be relocated every three days to minimize impacts on the resource. All permit applicants must read and sign the permit conditions sheet before being issued a permit.


Conditions for Picnicking: Picnicking is allowed on hardened surfaces and in other areas where impacts to resources will not occur, and as long as the activity does not conflict with other visitor uses and park operations.


36 CFR 2.13 – FIRES

(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is generally prohibited, except as provided for in the following designated areas or receptacles, and under the conditions noted:

Designated Areas:
Certain types of fire (as listed below) are allowed in the designated picnic areas at Rainbow Forest and Chinde Point. The use of solar, propane/butane, and white gas fueled stoves is allowed in wilderness camping areas.

Receptacles Allowed:
The use of solar, propane/butane, white gas fueled stoves and charcoal-type grills is allowed in designated picnic areas. Charcoal fires are not allowed in wilderness camping areas.

Established Conditions for Fires:
Fires must be constantly monitored and must be completely extinguished before leaving the area.
(c) High fire danger closures will be in effect as noted:

  • No fires are allowed if the area is posted with high fire danger warning signs.

Determination: Fires are generally safe except during high-fire danger. Fire restrictions may be issued by the Superintendent.


(a)(2) The use of government refuse receptacles or facilities for dumping household, commercial or industrial refuse, brought as such from private or municipal property is prohibited.


36 CFR §2.15 – PETS

(a)(3) Pets may be left tied to an object under the following conditions:

  • Short periods of time (less than 5 minutes) in developed areas
  • During emergency situations in developed and undeveloped areas.

(a)(5) Pet excrement must be disposed in accordance with the following conditions:

  • Pet excrement must be collected and deposited in a trash receptacle. In addition to the general trash receptacles available throughout the park, there are also two pet waste stations in the park that have bags available for use along with pet waste receptacles.

(e) A maximum of two pets may be kept by park residents under the following conditions:

  • Pets must be registered with the park Housing Officer. Pets must also be current with required vaccinations.
  • Park residents wishing to house more than two pets must receive a written authorization from the superintendent.

Pets are not allowed in government and public buildings (even if carried). This restriction does not apply to service dogs or those used by sight or hearing impaired individuals. Pets are allowed in all other areas of the park, including Wilderness areas, as long as the areas are not indicated as closed by this compendium. Pets must be restrained by leash (maximum of six feet) at all times they are outside of a vehicle in the park.


(a) The following animals are designated as pack animals:

  • Horses, burros, mules, llamas, goats

(b) The use of horses or pack animals is permitted on the following trails, routes or areas:

  • All park lands with the exception of paved roads, paved trails, and around visitor use areas.
  • Riders are prohibited from riding within 10 feet of either side of a paved trail.

(d) Free-trailing or loose-herding is not permitted.
(g) Other conditions concerning the use of horses or pack animals:

  • The number of stock animals is limited to six per group.
  • Riders must comply with wilderness restrictions when in park wilderness areas.


(c)(1) The removal of a downed aircraft, components, or parts thereof is allowed, subject to written authorizations from the superintendent, under the following terms and conditions:

  • The parties responsible for removal of the aircraft must submit a written plan specifying a timeframe for removal, means of access to the site, and the manner or method of removal.


The use of roller-skates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices are not allowed in the park except:

  • By park residents within the confines of park residential areas.

Determination: This closure is to prevent possible conflicts, maintain public health and safety, and prevent any unacceptable impacts on park resources and values.

36 CFR §2.21 – SMOKING

(a) The following portions of the park, or all or portions of buildings, structures or facilities are closed to smoking:

  • The interior of all public and government buildings.
  • Immediately adjacent to gasoline dispensing pumps at the concessionaire gas station.
  • During posted high fire danger no smoking is allowed in any portion of the park except for the interior of vehicles.

All smoking areas must be a reasonable distance from any building entrances, windows and ventilation systems so that persons entering or leaving the building or facility shall not be subjected to breathing tobacco smoke and so that tobacco smoke does not enter the building or facility through entrances, windows, ventilation systems or any other means. Similarly, ashtrays shall be removed to the same reasonable distances from buildings and facilities.

36 CFR §2.22 – PROPERTY

(a)(2) The following describes areas where property may be left unattended for periods longer than 24 hours, and the conditions under which property may be left:

  • Visitors on authorized wilderness camping permits are permitted to leave their vehicles unattended within designated parking spaces for the period specified on their permit.


(b) Recreation fees, in accordance with 36 CFR part 71, are established for the following entrance fee areas, and/or for the use of the following specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or for participation in the following group activity, recreation events or specialized recreation uses:

Entrance Fee Prices

Single Vehicle $25
Motorcycle $20
Bicycle or Pedestrain $15
Park Specific Annual Pass $45
Non-Commerical Bus Passengers $15
Commercial Tours - Sedans* $25*
Commerical Tours - Vans $50
Commercial Tours - Mini-Bus $60
Commercial Tours - Large Coach $150

*Commercial Tours - Sedan - Plus $15 per person
Standard non-commercial passes are valid for seven-days; starting on the date of purchase.

(c) The collection of recreation fees will be suspended during the following periods in 2022:

(d) Access to the Tawa Trail and Rim Trail for pedestrian traffic from the Painted Desert Visitor Center Orientation Loop to Painted Desert Inn is permitted without having to pay an entrance fee.



(a)(3)(i) The following public use areas, portions of public use areas, and/or public facilities within the park are closed to consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed:

  • All government buildings and passenger compartments of all vehicles.


The solicitation or demand for gifts, money, goods or services requires a permit under §2.50, §2.51, or §2.52, and is subject to the terms and conditions specified therein.



Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expressions of views are allowed within the following established areas listed below. For groups larger than 25 persons, a Special Use Permit is required. Groups less than 25 persons do not need a permit, but must remain in the designated areas listed below.

  • Painted Desert - the southwest side of the visitor center parking lot, in an area 140 feet by 20 feet. See Map F.
  • Rainbow Forest - The eastern side of the picnic area parking lot, in an area 100 feet by 15 feet. See Map G.

Written applications for permits (groups larger than 25) must be received by the Superintendent at least 24 hours prior to the date desired for the event. The activity must not conflict with any scheduled NPS function or program.

No amplification of voice or sound will be allowed. Visitors will not be subjected to undue noise or physical contact. Signs are restricted to no larger than 3 foot by 3 foot in size. Visitors shall not be impeded in their progress to any portions of the park including public buildings, visitor centers, restaurants, parking areas, etc.



The distribution of printed matter by groups of less than 25 is allowed within the boundaries of the areas listed in section 2.51 above. Groups larger than 25 will require a Special Use permit for the activity. The sale or distribution of “printed matter”, which this regulation defines as “message-bearing textual printed materials such as books, pamphlets, magazines, and leaflets, is authorized as long as it is not solely commercial advertising. For message bearing items such as CDs, DVDs, and other readable electronic media, the superintendent will allow the FREE distribution of such items, so long as the activity occurs within the area designated on MAPS
F and G.

Groups will be required to provide waste containers for visitors to use in conjunction with receiving the printed material, as well as to remove from the park all trash contained in these containers.



(a) Absent a permit, the running-at-large, herding, driving across, allowing on, pasturing or grazing of livestock of any kind in a park area for agricultural purposes is prohibited. Additionally, a permit can only be issued in the following circumstances:
(a)(1) As specifically authorized by Federal statutory law; or
(a)(2) As required under a reservation of use of rights arising from acquisition of a tract of land; or
(a)(3) As designated, when conducted as a necessary and integral part of a recreational activity or required in order to maintain a historic scene.



Absent a permit, lease or contract, residing in park areas on other than private land, is prohibited.



(a) Authorization from the Director of the National Park Service is required to install a monument, memorial, tablet, structure, or other commemorative installation in a park area.

(b) A permit is required for the scattering of ashes from cremated human remains. Petrified Forest National Park has suspended permitting the scattering of human cremated remains (ashes) within the park as the park goes through an interdisciplinary review and formal comment process with the 37 traditionally associated tribes.

Determination: The scattering of human remains, or ashes can conflict with the spiritual or cultural practices of indigenous people traditionally associated with the park. In addition, the presence of modern remains could affect the National Park Service's ability to preserve and protect human remains that are themselves cultural resources.



(a) Park roads, open for travel by motor vehicle, are those indicated in the following publication:

  • Park Brochure


(a) The following load, weight and size limits, which are more restrictive than State law, apply to the roads indicated under the terms and conditions, and/or under permit as noted:

  • Trucks and/or trucks and trailers rated over 50,000 pounds GVW are not permitted on park roads, except for trucks and/or trucks and trailers required for park operations.


(b) The following speed limits are established for the routes/roads indicated:

Unless otherwise posted, the speed limit in the park is 45 mph. Under 36 CFR paragraph 1.5 Closure and Public Use Limits, the Superintendent retains the right to change speed limits in any area of the park, without public notice, when emergency conditions so warrant.

  1. The speed limit is 45 mile per hour along the following portions of the park road:

1. From Lacey Point south to the Puerco Bridge.
2. From the south end of the Puerco Pueblo development to just north of the Crystal Forest pullout, excluding cautionary limit areas of 35 mph in the Tepees and Agate Hill.
3. From just south of the Crystal Forest parking lot to the Jim Camp Wash Bridge.

  1. The speed limit is 35 mile per hour along the following portions of the park road.

1. From the Painted Desert Entrance Station to Lacey Point.
2. From the Puerco Bridge to the south end of the Puerco Pueblo development.
3. From the Blue Mesa Road at its intersection with the main park road to its intersection with the Blue Mesa Loop Road.
4. From just north of the Crystal Forest parking area to just south of the Crystal Forest parking area, a stretch of road approximately .4 miles long.
5. From the Rainbow Forest Museum to the south entrance gate.

  1. The following speed limits are posted on the following areas of park roadway:

1. 25 mph on the Blue Mesa Loop portion of the Blue Mesa road.
2. 25 mph on the main park road from the Painted Desert electronic gates to the entrance station.
3. 15 mph on the Chinde Point, Newspaper Rock, Agate Bridge, Jasper Forest, and Long Logs access roads.
4. 15 mph from the Jim Camp Wash bridge through the Rainbow Forest parking area.
5. 15 mph in heavy visitor use areas including the Painted Desert Visitor parking area; the Rainbow Forest Museum and concessions parking area; and all turnoffs.
6. 15 mph in residential areas.
7. 15 mph one quarter mile north and south of the Rainbow Forest Entrance Station.

36 CFR §4.30 – BICYCLES

(a) Bicycle/e-bike use is permitted on paved park roads and parking areas open to the public.

The following routes are closed to bicycle/e-bike use: Paved trails and all park lands not covered by pavement, with the exception of:

  • the unpaved portion of Old Route 66 from the main park road to the east boundary fence
  • the eastern portion of Old Highway 180 in the Rainbow Forest area from its intersection with the main park road to Cottonwood Wash bridge.
  • the portion of the Long logs trail from its intersection with the main park road, continuing to the trailhead loop area approximately ½ mile up the trail.
  • the trail beginning at the Rainbow Forest Picnic Area, and continuing to the base of the mesa, ending at a loop in the road (approximately 1 mile in length).

(b) The term “e-bike” means a two- or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.).

E-bikes are allowed in Petrified Forest National Park where traditional bicycles are allowed. E-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited. Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor to move an e-bike without pedaling is prohibited.

A person operating an e-bike is subject to the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.30(h)(2)-(5).

Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within Petrified Forest National Park is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.

Determination: To prevent injury or damage to park resources and visitors.



Last updated: March 17, 2024

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Mailing Address:

Petrified Forest National Park
P.O. Box 2217

Petrified Forest, AZ 86028-2217


928 524-6228

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