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Contact: Hallie Larsen, 928-524-6228 ext. 274
Petrified Forest—Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced recently that all 392 national parks will have free admission during National Park Week, April 17th to 25th. Many national parks charge entrance fees which can range from $3 to $25. The fee free waiver for National Park Week does not include other fees collected in advance or by contractors—such as fees charged for camping, reservations and use of concessions.
“We are rolling out the red carpet and inviting everyone to visit a national park and help celebrate National Park Week,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “Parks are fun and affordable destinations and great places to engage in healthy, outdoor activities, whether for a few hours or a few days.”
National Park Week, a program of the National Park Service, is an opportunity to engage families and communities in America’s Great Outdoors, reconnecting them with nature and creating close to home opportunities for people to get outside, be active, and have fun. A listing of parks and promotions is available at www.nps.gov/npweek.
This year, Petrified Forest National Park will celebrate National Park Week with adventures such as:
- April 17th: Explore Route 66 with the Park Archeologist, meet 1 pm at the Painted Desert Visitor Center. ~2.5 miles hike, moderately strenuous due to soft sands and uneven terrain (not recommended for those with mobility challenges). Appropriate footwear is required as well as water and sun protection.
- April 21st: Discover the amazing geology of the park in an area visitors rarely see; meet the Ranger at Rainbow Forest Museum.
- April 22nd and 24th: Take a short walk with a Ranger out to a natural arch formed by a petrified log (and it isn’t Agate Bridge!); meet at 10 am at Blue Mesa, third pullout.
- April 24th—Junior Ranger Day: pick up your Blue Mesa Explorer guide at one of the visitor centers. After hiking at Blue Mesa and completing the activities in their guide, return to any of the visitor centers to get your special Junior Ranger day patch.
- “Ranger Who Works for Carrots,” meet one of our park horses at Rainbow Forest Museum.
- Visit the park’s fossil preparation laboratory, a limited, special journey into a place most never get to see.
- Free word searches, crossword puzzles, and coloring handouts for the national parks will be available at all three visitor centers.
- Self-guided scavenger hunt that could win a goody-bag for participants!
- An online exhibit that will test your knowledge of your national parks at https://www.nps.gov/pefo.
For details of the activities and opportunities throughout the week, visit https://www.nps.gov/pefo/npsweek.htm
We will also offer our regular daily programs:
10:00 am Painted Desert Inn Tour:
Explore this intriguing National Historic Landmark with a ranger and discover its fascinating past.
1:00 pm Triassic Program: How did these once living trees turn to stone? Meet in the Rainbow Forest Museum sunroom. Find out on this easy ranger talk or guided walk (weather depending) along the Giant Logs Trail.
3:00 pm Puerco Pueblo Program: Find out about the ancestral Puebloan people who once lived in this 100 room pueblo. Meet at the Puerco Pueblo Trail at the south end of the parking lot for an easy ranger-guided 1/3 mile walk.
“National parks preserve our heritage, promote recreational experiences, and provide places of quiet refuge,” said National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis. “Most people live within a short drive of a national park so I encourage everyone to spend some time enjoying America’s Great Outdoors during National Park Week.”
For information call (928) 524-6228; or write to the Superintendent, Petrified Forest National Park, P.O. Box 2217, Petrified Forest, AZ 86028; or e-mail the park Superintendent.