Guided Activities

Hikers heading into Jasper Forest
Off the Beaten Path Jasper Forest Hike

Heather Sakurai

Guided Activities

The year 2023 gives a new beginning to possible activities. We had our popular backcountry hikes beginning in winter to early spring and the paleo demo lab has extended its days. We hope to have more in the spring and summer with an eye towards health and safety. Be sure to check our social media pages (scroll down on any page to the links on the lower right) for information and events. Also, watch for roving rangers and volunteers in areas like Puerco Pueblo and Crystal Forest for on-the-spot information including show and tell items to share!


September 16 Puerco Pueblo Artist-in-Residence Program
1pm to 2pm Puerco Pueblo Trail Shade Structure

For more information
Hallie Larsen
(928) 524-6228 x274

Park Artist-in-Residence, Lisa Flowers Ross, will demonstrate fabric stamping to visitors at Puerco Pueblo. Visitors can view the nearby petroglyphs and get inspired to create their own symbolic art by stamping on a bandana or on fabric to create a card to take with them.


Join a BioBlitz on September 23 to celebrate National Public Lands Day!

For more information
Sarah Herve
(928) 241-4174

Join the park for a Bioblitz to celebrate Public Lands Day at Petrified Forest National Park! The event is Saturday September 23, 2023, 10:00am to 5:00pm. Volunteers will use the iNaturalist app to photograph and identify the diverse species of plants and animals they observe within the park! It’s lots of fun and you contribute to the growing knowledge of the park.


PEFO Fall Hikes 2023

Hike Your Park! Tired of staying indoors from the summer heat? Need to get away from work and the city noise? Enjoy peaceful spectacular fall views of the park while you get some steps in! Hike the beautiful Painted Desert!

Hikers should come prepared with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. No pets (exception for the Bark Ranger hike) nor children under the age of 12 on hikes. Inclement weather and extreme mud will cancel the hike.

Friday, September 29, 2023
Guided Backcountry Hike: Historic Rainbow Forest Road
Difficulty: Moderate

Hike 5 Miles with an archeologist through the Rainbow Canyon, once a major visitation feature in the 1800s. Included will be passage along the historic, petrified wood paved road that early visitors traveled, and petrified wood deposits in the Park’s backcountry to an Ancestral Puebloan petroglyph site dating to approximately 1150-1300 CE. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) work will also be explored. Be prepared to hike 6 hours in off-trail conditions including wash beds, compact sand, slopes, paved asphalt, and rocky terrain. The average elevation gain is approximately 225 feet and rated moderate.

Saturday, September 30, 2023
Guided Backcountry Hike: Point of Bluff
Difficulty: Strenuous

Hike 8 miles with an archeologist through petrified wood deposits in the Park’s backcountry to an Ancestral Puebloan petroglyph site dating to approximately 1150-1300 CE. Be prepared to hike 7 hours with an elevation gain of 200 feet through wash beds, loose sand dunes and loose slopes. This hike is rated strenuous due to length.

Friday, October 6, 2023
Guided Backcountry Hike: Four Bridges
Difficulty: Strenuous

Hike 6 miles round trip into the Painted Desert to Onyx Bridge and three lesser-known bridges in off-trail desert wilderness conditions. Be prepared to hike 6 hours with an average elevation gain of 675 feet. Rating is strenuous due to the steep 600-foot switchback.

Saturday, October 7, 2023
Guided Backcountry Hike: Red Basin Clam Beds
Difficulty: Strenuous

Hike 8.5 miles round trip through colorful geologic features, including some in recently acquired lands. Be prepared to hike approximately 7 hours in off-trail conditions, average elevation gain of 600 feet, and rated strenuous due to length.

Friday, October 13, 2023
Guided Backcountry Hike: Historic Blue Forest Road
Difficulty: Challenging

Hike 4 miles round trip on the Historic Blue Forest Trail constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), with the trail rehabilitated in 2013 for adventurous hikers like yourselves! This hike traverses the trail and beyond through rugged, beautiful badlands, which includes very steep ascents and descents. Be prepared to hike approximately 3 hours over rugged desert terrain, average elevation gain of 425 feet, and rated challenging.

Saturday, October 14, 2023
Guided Backcountry Hike: Painted Desert Saunter
Difficulty: Moderate

Hike 5.5 miles round trip to boulders covered in petroglyphs and continue on to badlands with ascending high ridge panoramic views. Be prepared to hike approximately 6 hours over rugged desert terrain, average elevation gain of 300 feet, and rated moderate.

Friday, November 3, 2023
Guided Backcountry Hike: Devils Playground
Difficulty: Easy

Walk 4 miles round trip and experience historic expedition routes through the Painted Desert as you hike with Park archeologists to a 19th century mail stop. Discover historic inscriptions along the mesa edges as you follow in the footsteps of some of the first Euro-Americans to traverse this region. Be prepared to hike approximately 5 hours over rugged desert terrain and wash walking, average elevation gain of 100 feet, rated easy, hiking in washes which may be muddy. A high-clearance vehicle is necessary to access the Devils Playground area.
Saturday, November 4, 2023
Guided Backcountry Hike: Bear Springs
Difficulty: Challenging

Hike 7 miles round trip to a historic site on the eastern rim of the Painted Desert. Spectacular views predominate along this route over varied terrain. Be prepared to hike approximately 6.5 hours in off-trail conditions, average elevation gain of 675 feet, and rated Challenging due to length and rolling landscape.

Friday, November 10, 2023
Guided Backcountry Hike: Jasper Forest Road-Bark Ranger Hike
Difficulty: Easy

Hike 3 miles round trip with your Bark Ranger along a vintage 1930s era roadbed among beautiful, petrified logs. Be prepared to hike approximately 2-3 hours over rugged desert terrain, average elevation gain of 150 feet, and rated easy. Bark Ranger limited to 1 dog per person and must get along with people and other animals.
Participants in Field Institute excavation
Dig with a paleontologist


Petrified Forest Field Institute

Petrified Forest Field Institute is proud to offer guided tours and field classes exploring fun and compelling subjects lead by world class guides and experts.

Cellist at Blue Mesa
Cellist at Blue Mesa


Artist-in-Residence Program

In the Artist-in-Residence Program selected artists spend time living and working in the park, sharing their experiences with visitors.

Cultural Demonstrators Montage
Cultural Demonstrators Montage


Cultural Demonstration Program

The Cultural Demonstration Program at Petrified Forest National Park provides local artisans with the opportunity to share their cultural and historical connections to the region with park visitors.

Last updated: September 15, 2023

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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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