The Painted Desert Diner and a convenience store for snacks are located next to the Painted Desert Visitor Center. Limited snacks are also available for purchase at the curio shop in Rainbow Forest. These sites are operated by our concessionaire Ortega National Parks/ExploreUS.
Lodging and Camping
There is no RV, car, or front country camping in the park. There is no boondocking, dispersed or “primitive” camping, or just pulling off into a parking area.
There is only backpacking/hiking into the designated Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area to spend the night in the park, at least a mile from your vehicle. Please be prepared for this adventure!
The backpacking wilderness permit is free. You may obtain it in person from either visitor centers, Painted Desert Visitor Center or Rainbow Forest Museum, on the day that you want to backpack. Each vehicle must have a permit. The permits are available until 4:30 pm.
Overnight accommodation is not available in the park, but can be found in nearby communities.
Visit the Goods and Services page for nearby communities' chamber of commerce information.