News Release

Get off the Beaten Path at Petrified Forest National Park

Jasper Forest with many petrified log segments, badlands, under a blue sky.
Jasper Forest follows an old roadbed into a wonderland of geology and petrified wood.


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News Release Date: January 26, 2024

Contact: Victoria Montoya-Philpott, 928-524-6228 x238

PETRIFIED FOREST, Ariz. – Did you know Petrified Forest National Park offers a chance for visitors to explore areas within the park that are considered “off the beaten path”? These hiking excursions get you away from the park road and crowded trails, taking you through areas of spectacular scenery, geological wonders and fields of wild grasslands and petrified wood.

What started in 2014 as an opportunity to give visitors access to new areas of the park has expanded into eight Off the Beaten Path guides that visitors can request in the visitor centers. The guides provide a suggested route through and to specific locations within the park. Some of the hikes follow old roadbeds, relics from a time when the park allowed vehicles to drive through the petrified wood deposits, while others take visitors into the wild badlands of the painted desert. One of the hikes follows the remains of a trail constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The hikes vary in distance and difficulty with the shortest being four miles and the longest eight and half.

The hikes are available year-round though weather and moisture can make it more difficult to cross washes and riverbeds. If hiking in warm weather, it is recommended that you start early and bring plenty of water. Several times per year the park offers the opportunity to join a ranger on some of these adventures. Check the website for dates and times or call 928-524-6228 ext. 238.

As with all areas within the park these are protected spaces. The park thanks visitors for practicing leave no trace and leaving everything as they found it.

Learn more about each of the hikes by visiting the park’s website. Off the Beaten Path - Petrified Forest National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (

Man with backpack leans on a petrified log looking away to grassland under a blue sky.
Hiker rests on a petrified log while taking in the views of the Painted Desert.


White geological formation called the Sandcastle with the colorful badlands in the distance of Red Basin under mostly blue sky.
The “sandcastle” is just one of the geological wonders found on the Red Basin Clam Beds hike.


Last updated: January 20, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Petrified Forest National Park
P.O. Box 2217

Petrified Forest, AZ 86028-2217


928 524-6228

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