News Release

Participate in a Backcountry Adventure at Petrified Forest National Park

Visitors on Blue Forest Hike
Happy visitors enjoying a hike into the Blue Forest.

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News Release Date: February 17, 2022

Contact: Emily Devereaux, 928-524-6228 x276

Petrified Forest, AZ—Are you looking for some time away from your digital devices? Want to get outside this spring? Are you in need of some fresh air and sunshine? Join a ranger for a guided adventure off the beaten path in the backcountry of Petrified Forest National Park! 

Hikes are free with entrance fee. Reservations required and limited to eight participants per hike. Be prepared with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Face masks recommended. No pets please. No children under the age of 12. Inclement weather and extreme mud may cancel the hike (we will notify those on the reservation list) 

To make a reservation or for more information call 928-524-6228 x238, leave a message if no answer.  

Spring 2022 Schedule of Hikes

Friday, March 4
Guided Backcountry Hike: Titanic
10:00 am – approx. 3:30 pm
Difficulty: Moderate
Hike in some of the oldest exposed terrain in the park through other worldly landscapes. Approximately 5 ½ miles round trip in off-trail conditions. Average elevation gain about 425 feet.    

Saturday, March 5
Guided Backcountry Hike: Petroglyph Mesa
10 am – approx. 4 pm           
Difficulty: Moderate
Hike to a remote, major rock art site in the park’s northern wilderness. About 7.25 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. Average elevation gain approximately 550 feet.   

Friday, March 11
Guided Backcountry Hike: Siltstone
10:00 am – approx. 4 pm
Difficulty: Moderate 
A scenic ramble through the geology rich area west of the Flattops. The hike features the three main scientific components of the park: archaeology, paleontology and biology. About 6 ½ to 7 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. Average elevation gain approximately 400 feet.       

Saturday, March 12
Guided Backcountry Hike: “Starving Man”
10 am – approx. 2:30 pm
Difficulty: Moderate
Hike to a petroglyphs covered boulder. Continue on to badlands and ascend a high ridge with panoramic views. About 5 to 5 ½ miles round trip in off-trail conditions. Average elevation gain approximately 300 feet.     

Friday, March 18
Guided Backcountry Hike: Wilderness Loop       
9:30 am – approx. 4:00 pm
Difficulty: Strenuous
Hike into the park’s ‘Black Forest’ area to experience some of the largest and youngest (geologically speaking) petrified trees in the park. About 8 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. Average elevation gain approximately 700 feet.    

Friday, March 25
Guided Backcountry Hike: Petroglyph Canyon   
9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Difficulty: Easy, except for the steep, rugged foot trail to the petroglyphs, which is challenging and optional
Short, easy walk to an old interpretive area featuring a foot trail constructed in the 1930s. The trail, which is challenging, provides access to a large number of petroglyphs. Approximately 3.5 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. Average elevation gain about 200 feet.    

Saturday, March 26
Guided Backcountry Hike: Martha’s Butte & Beyond
10:00 am – approx. 3:00 pm 
Difficulty: Moderate
Ramble over undulating terrain to experience abundant, ancient rock art. Hike is about 5 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. Average elevation gain approximately 225 feet.    

Friday, April 1
Guided Backcountry Hike: First Forest Overlook
10:00 am – approx. 3:00 pm
Difficulty: Easy         
A varied hike through lovely, petrified wood deposits onto First Forest Mesa with panoramic views of surrounding landscape. About 5.75 to 6 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. Average elevation gain about 450 feet.    

Saturday, April 2
Guided Backcountry Hike: Dead Wash Overlook
10:00 am – approx. 4:00 pm
Difficulty: Strenuous due to multiple ascents and descents          
Hike through grasslands past Black Forest petrified wood out to an overlook of the remote Dead Wash drainage. Approximately 5 ½ to 6 miles round trip. Average elevation gain about 475.     

Friday, April 8
Guided Backcountry Hike: Blue Mesa Walkabout
10:00 am – approx. 4:00 pm
Difficulty: Moderate due to distance
A tour around a landmark in the center of the park through some of the oldest terrain with a variety of geological, paleontological, and archaeological features. Approximately 6 to 6 ½ miles in off-trail conditions. Average elevation gain about 600 feet.    

Friday, April 15
Guided Backcountry Hike: Red Basin Clam Beds
9:30 am- approx. 4:30 pm
Difficulty: Strenuous due to length 
Take a long hike to and through colorful geologic features, including some in recently acquired lands. Approximately 8 to 8 ½ miles round trip in off-trail conditions. Average elevation gain about 600 feet.    

Saturday, April 16
Guided Backcountry Hike: Jasper Road
10 am- approx. 2:00 pm
Difficulty: Easy         
Enjoy an easy hike along a vintage 1930s era roadbed among beautiful, petrified logs. Hike is about 3 miles round trip. Average elevation gain about 150 feet.     

Friday, April 22
Guided Backcountry Hike: Agate Mesa Ramble  
10:00 am – approx. 3:30 pm
Difficulty: Moderate
Multi-hour tour around a prominent landmark in the center of the park which features colorful geological formations and a wide variety of petrified wood. About 6 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. Average elevation gain approximately 500 feet.    

Saturday, April 23
Guided Backcountry Hike: Third Forest   
10:00 am – approx. 2:00 pm
Difficulty: Easy
A walk in the area justifiably named Long Logs. Approximately 5 to 5 ½ miles round trip in off-trail conditions. Average elevation gain about 300 feet.       

Friday, April 29
Guided Backcountry Hike: Four Bridges
10:00 am – approx. 3:15 pm
Difficulty: Moderate
Hike into the Painted Desert to Onyx Bridge and three lesser-known bridges. About 6 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. Average elevation gain approximately 675 feet.      

Saturday, April 30
Guided Backcountry Hike: Bidahochi        
10:00 am – approx. 3:00 pm
Difficulty: Strenuous due to steep and rocky descent and ascents          
A short, steep descent from the Bidahochi Formation to 3 oases on the Lithodendron flood plain. Visit geologic features and some of the largest petrified logs in the park. Approximately 4 ½ to 5 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. Average elevation gain about 600 feet.    



Last updated: February 23, 2022

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Mailing Address:

Petrified Forest National Park
P.O. Box 2217
Attn.:

Petrified Forest , AZ 86028-2217

Phone:

928 524-6228

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