News Release

Petrified Forest National Park is beginning to increase recreational access to the park road, trails and wilderness

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Date: May 27, 2020
Contact: Sarah Herve, 928-524-6228 x245

Holbrook, AZ – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Petrified Forest National Park is increasing recreational access and other services through a multi phased approach. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
Beginning 05/29/20 Petrified Forest National Park will reopen access to:  

  • The park road, all trails and wilderness areas.
Entrance fees are valid for seven days and will be collected by credit card only. 
$25.00 per vehicle
$20.00 per motorcycle
$15.00 for Bicyclists and Walkers.
We also accept all the America the Beautiful Passes

A Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) project to repair and replace three bridges and sections of the park road is continuing. The 9.5 million dollar project is in the second phase, estimated to be completed in late June. The park road is open, with areas of traffic control in construction zones. Visitors can expect travel delays no longer than 15 minutes in this area of the park. Access from I-40 to HWY-180, and vice versa, will be possible.

Wilderness camping permits will not be issued at this time, please check the park website for updates.

With public health in mind, the following facilities will open in future phases. Please continue to check the park’s website for updates.
  • Painted Desert Visitor Center, Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark, Rainbow Forest Museum, Painted Desert Diner and Gift Shop and Rainbow Forest Lodge.  

“The staff at Petrified Forest are eager to welcome visitors back into their national park. Since the park’s closure we have been working on making improvements to visitor centers and gift shops to ensure visitors will have a safe and meaningful experience when they visit,” said park Superintendent Jeannine McElveen.

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Petrified Forest National Park, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.  

While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, such as social distancing, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.   

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on our website and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Last updated: May 28, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Park Road, #2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028


(928) 524-6228

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