Guided Tours

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

Heather Sakurai

Guided Activities

Special programs will be offered throughout the year! Check the searchable Calendar, as well as our social media pages.

Ranger Guided Programs are available seasonally and as staffing allows, but our staff is always roving the park. Keep an eye out for roving rangers in popular areas like Puerco Pueblo, Crystal Forest, and Giant Logs for on-the-spot information.

 
Illuminated in red light, a Park Ranger looks into a telescope while stars fill the background.
Petrified Forest recognizes that the unimpeded natural night sky is a valuable resource worth preserving.

NPS Photo / Jake Holgerson

Dark Skies Over Petrified Forest


November 3rd, 2018
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Join us at Painted Desert Inn as we celebrate our designation as an official International Dark Sky Park. The event includes a ranger program, guest speakers, astro-activities, and telescopes for celestial viewing! We recommend bringing warm clothing and a red-light flashlight or headlamp for optimal dark sky viewing.

If you plan on entering the park though our southern entrance (HWY-180) you will need to enter BEFORE 5 pm. After 5 pm, the only access into or out of the park will be our northern entrance (I-40). We apologize for any inconvience this may cause.
 

December Programs and Event

Saturday December 1
Guided Backcountry Hike: Petroglyph Canyon
Meet at Rainbow Forest picnic area
11 am

Short, easy walk to an old interpretive area featuring a foot trail constructed in the 1930s. The trail, which is challenging, provides access to a large number of petroglyphs. Approximately 2 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG about 200 feet. Rated easy except for the foot trail which is challenging and optional. Be prepared for a multi-hour hike in the park’s backcountry with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants and advance signup required; call 928-368-3821 for further information and registration.

Saturday December 1
Guided Backcountry Hike: Third Forest
Meet at Rainbow Forest picnic area
2 pm

A walk in the area justifiably named Long Logs. Approximately 3 to 4 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG about 300 feet. Rated easy. Be prepared for a multi-hour hike in the park’s backcountry with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants and advance signup required; call 928-368-3821 for further information and registration.

Saturday December 1
Parade of Lights
Navajo and Hopi, Holbrook, AZ
Sundown

Look for Petrified Forest National Park staff walking in the parade to celebrate the Candyland Christmas theme.

Sunday December 2
Guided Backcountry Hike: Agate Mesa Ramble
Meet at Agate Bridge Parking Lot
10 am

Multi-hour tour around a prominent landmark in the center of the park which features colorful geological formations and a wide variety of petrified wood. About 6 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG approximately 500 feet. Difficulty rating is moderate. No pets please on this hike. Be prepared with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants and advance signup required; call 928-368-3821 for further information and registration.

Saturday December 8
Guided Backcountry Hike: Siltstone
Meet at unpaved pullout on south side of road between mile markers 23 and 24
10 am

A scenic ramble through the geology rich area west of the Flattops. The hike features the three main scientific components of the park: archaeology, paleontology and biology. About 5 ½ to 6 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG approximately 400 feet. Rated moderate. No pets please on this hike. Be prepared for a multi-hour hike in the park’s backcountry with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants and advance signup required; call 928-368-3821 for further information and registration.

Sunday December 9
Guided Backcountry Hike: Titanic
Meet at The Tepees (mile marker 14). Park at roadside pullout near Tepees
10 am

Hike in some of the oldest exposed terrain in the park through other worldly landscapes. Approximately 5 ½ miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG about 425 feet. Rated moderate. No pets please on this hike. Be prepared for a multi-hour hike in the park’s backcountry with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants and advance signup required; call 928-368-3821 for further information and registration.

Saturday December 15
Guided Backcountry Hike: Third Forest
Meet at Rainbow Forest picnic area
10 am

A walk in the area justifiably named Long Logs. Approximately 5.75 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG about 300 feet. Rated easy. No pets please on this hike. Be prepared for a multi-hour hike in the park’s backcountry with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants and advance signup required; call 928-368-3821 for further information and registration.

Sunday December 16
Guided Backcountry Hike: Bear Spring
Meet at Painted Desert Inn
10 am

A scenic trek to a historic site on the eastern rim of the Painted Desert. Spectacular views predominate along this route over varied terrain. Approximately 7 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG about 675 feet. Rated challenging due to the length and rolling landscape. No pets please on this hike. Be prepared for a multi-hour hike in the park’s backcountry with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants and advance signup required; call 928-368-3821 for further information and registration.

Saturday December 22
Guided Backcountry Hike: Haystacks
Meet at the Tepees (mile marker 14; park at roadside pullout near the Tepees)
9:30 am

Hike to a prominent landmark. Highlights include panoramic views and geological and archaeological features. Approximately 4 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG about 250 feet. Rated easy. Be prepared for a multi-hour hike in the park’s backcountry with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants and advance signup required; call 928-368-3821 for further information and registration.

Saturday December 22
Guided Backcountry Hike: Historic Rainbow Forest Road
Meet at Rainbow Forest picnic area
1:30 pm

Easy walk through 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. Nearly 4.75 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG about 225 feet. Rated easy. Be prepared for a multi-hour hike in the park’s backcountry with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants and advance signup required; call 928-368-3821 for further information and registration.

Sunday December 23
Guided Backcountry Hike: Petroglyph Mesa
Meet at Route 66 pullout (between mileposts 5 and 6 in the northern part of the park)
10 am

Hike to a remote, major rock art site in the park’s northern wilderness. About 7 1/4 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG approximately 550 feet. Rated moderate. No pets please on this hike. Be prepared for a multi-hour hike in the park’s backcountry with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants and advance signup required; call 928-368-3821 for further information and registration.

Saturday December 29
Guided Backcountry Hike: Agate Mesa Ramble
Meet at Agate Bridge Parking Lot
10 am

Multi-hour tour around a prominent landmark in the center of the park which features colorful geological formations and a wide variety of petrified wood. About 6 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG approximately 500 feet. Difficulty rating is moderate. No pets please on this hike. Be prepared with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants and advance signup required; call 928-368-3821 for further information and registration.

Sunday December 30
Guided Backcountry Hike: Wilderness Loop
Meet at Painted Desert Inn
10 am

Hike into the park’s ‘Black Forest’ area to experience some of the largest and youngest (geologically speaking) petrified trees in the park. About 8 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG approximately 700 feet. Rated challenging due to length. No pets please on this hike. Be prepared for a multi-hour hike in the park’s backcountry with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants and advance signup required; call 928-368-3821 for further information and registration.

 
Junior rangers speak with a ranger
Junior Rangers speak with Ranger Lauren

NPS

Daily Fun

Daily
Find Your Park
findyourpark.com/share
Anytime

Celebrate the National Park Service’s Centennial by sharing your own story! Browse the official Find Your Park website for inspiration, then upload your own song, photo, painting, poem, dance, video – anything you’d like to share about your visit.

Daily
Geocaching
Selected locations throughout the park
During park hours

Geocaching is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking virtual ‘treasure’, and anyone with a GPS device can play! There are several self-guided geocaches at Petrified Forest National Park where a hidden container can be found and a log book signed. For more information on geocaching, visit Geocaching.com.

Daily
Junior Ranger Program
Pick up a booklet at any park Visitor Center
During park hours

Junior Rangers explore, learn about, and protect their national parks! Fun activities engage young visitors at Petrified Forest and are rewarded with a badge and patch by finishing this booklet.

Daily
Junior Paleontologist Program
Pick up a booklet at any park Visitor Center
During park hours

Explore the ways paleontologists work, learn about Earth's history, and protect our national parks, including fossils and the rocks in which they are found! Earn a special paleontology badge by finishing this booklet.

Daily
Painted Desert Inn Tour
Painted Desert Inn
Anytime between 9am—4pm

Painted Desert Inn is a beautiful building with rich history and stunning views to boot. Ask any staff member in the building to give you a brief, personal tour during your visit, and if they can they will!

 
Participants in Field Institute
Dig with a paleontologist

NPS

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.

See www.petrifiedforestinstitute.org for more. Or click here to go directly to their class schedule.

 
Cellist at Blue Mesa
Cellist at Blue Mesa

NPS

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.

 
Paleontologist talking with visitors about fossils in the lab.
Paleontologist talking with visitors about fossils in the lab.

NPS/Hallie Larsen

Paleontology Lab Demos

Visit with the park's paleontolgists as they prepare fossils brought in from the field every Wednesday. Ask at the visitor center desk for more information.

Last updated: December 15, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Park Road, #2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028

Phone:

(928) 524-6228

Contact Us