Backpacking

backpackers in wilderness area wash with red badlands
Backpacking in Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area

NPS/Tara Harbert

To stay overnight in the Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area, obtain a free backcountry permit. Permits must be acquired in person at either the Painted Desert Visitor Center or Rainbow Forest Museum on the day of camping. Details about parking and reaching your destination will be shared during your permit process.

Groups

Group camping is limited to 8. Because of the fragile soils and landscape features, minimum impact camping is very important. This includes limiting the number of people within an area.

See LNT.org to learn about the principles of Leave No Trace camping.

Rules, Regulations, and Safety Points:

  • Collection of plants, rocks, petrified wood, fossils, archeological objects or other materials is illegal anywhere in the park.
  • No bicycles or motorized vehicles are allowed in the Wilderness.
  • No wood or charcoal fires are allowed. Please use fuel stoves.
  • Bury human waste.
  • Pack it in, pack it out. Leave no trash behind.
  • Be aware that elevations average 5,800 feet.
  • Temperatures vary greatly from extreme heat to bitter cold.
  • Take all water necessary. One gallon per person per day is recommended during summer months.

Last updated: August 24, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Park Road, #2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028

Phone:

(928) 524-6228

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