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 (scroll down on any page to the links on the lower right).

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.

 
Ongoing Program Schedule
All are welcome and all programs are included with normal park admission unless otherwise indicated. Need further information? Contact (928) 524-6228 x245

Every Wednesday 9am–3pm
Paleontology Lab Demonstrations
Meet at the Painted Desert Visitor Center
Join a fossil preparator as they work on fossil specimens discovered in the park.

Daily on request 9am–4pm
Painted Desert Inn Tours
Meet at the Painted Desert Inn
Explore the historic inn and discover the stories from homesteading to Route 66.
 
February 2020 Guided Hikes

Saturday, February 1
Guided Backcountry Hike: Third Forest
Meet at Rainbow Forest picnic area
10:00 am
A walk in the area justifiably named Long Logs. Approximately 5 to 5 ½ 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. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, February 2
Guided Backcountry Hike: Four Bridges
Meet at Painted Desert Inn
10:00 am
Hike into the Painted Desert to Onyx Bridge and three lesser-known bridges. About 6 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG approximately 675 feet. Rating is moderate. No pets please on this hike. Be prepared for a multi-hour adventure in the park’s backcountry with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Saturday, February 8
Guided Backcountry Hike: Onyx Bridge
Meet at Painted Desert Inn
10:00 am
Enjoy a walk to Onyx Bridge, a dramatic example of petrified wood eroding out of the Black Forest Bed of the Chinle Formation. About 4.5 to 5 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG approximately 400 feet. Rated moderate. Be prepared for a multi-hour hike in the park’s backcountry and bring adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, February 9
Guided Backcountry Hike: Siltstone
Meet at paved pullout on north side of road at mile marker 24
10:00 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 6 ½ to 7 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG approximately 400 feet. Rating is 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. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Saturday, February 15 Cancelled due to conditions

Guided Backcountry Hike: Flattops Circumnavigation
Meet at paved pullout on north side of road at mile marker 24
10:00 am
This hike traverses a variety of terrains, past archaeological sites and colorful geologic formations. Approximately 6 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG about 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. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.


Sunday, February 16
Guided Backcountry Hike: Bear Spring
Meet at Painted Desert Inn
10:00 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 strenuous 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. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Saturday, February 22
Guided Backcountry Hike: Martha’s Butte & Beyond
Meet at Dry Wash Bridge south of mile marker 22, in the dirt pullout on the east side of the highway 10:00 am
Ramble over undulating terrain to experience abundant, ancient rock art. Hike is about 5 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG approximately 225 feet. Rating is 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. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, February 23
Guided Backcountry Hike: Dead Wash Overlook
Park at small paved lot just north of mile marker 7 on east side of road
10:00 am
Hike through grasslands past Black Forest petrified wood out to an overlook of the remote Dead Wash drainage. Approximately 5 ½ to 6 miles round trip. AEG about 475. Rated strenuous due to multiple ascents and descents. No pets please on this hike. Be prepared with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Saturday, February 29
Guided Backcountry Hike: Painted Desert Saunter
Meet at Tiponi overlook.
10:00 am
A venture into the Painted Desert featuring colorful badlands and scenic views. Approximately 5 to 5 ½ miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG approximately 400 feet. Rated moderate. 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. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.


Sunday, March 1
Guided Backcountry Hike: Red Basin/Clam Beds
Meet at pullout along Blue Mesa Loop Road. Once you turn off the main park road for Blue Mesa, drive 1.7 miles to the pullout.
9:30 am
Take a long hike to and through colorful geologic features, including some in recently acquired lands. Approximately 8 to 8 ½ miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG about 600 feet. Rated strenuous 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. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.
 

March 2020 Guided Hikes

Saturday, March 7
Guided Backcountry Hike: Petroglyph Canyon
Meet at Rainbow Forest picnic area via the south park entrance from US Hwy 180.
9:30 am – approx 12:30 pm
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 3.5 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG about 200 feet. Rated easy except for the steep, rugged foot trail to the petroglyphs, which is challenging and optional. 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 who must be age 12 or older. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Saturday, March 7
Guided Hike: Long Logs & Agate House
Meet at Rainbow Forest picnic area via the south park entrance from US Hwy 180.
1:30 pm – approx. 3:30 pm
Short, easy walk on a developed trail through the site of a Triassic log jam. Admire especially long petrified tree trunks and learn about the history of the area. Included is a walk to the Agate House, a reconstructed pueblo made of petrified wood. Approximately 2.6 miles round trip. Pets welcome on this hike. Be prepared for a multi-hour hike with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, March 8
Guided Backcountry Hike: Sorrel Horse Mesa
Meet at the left pullout along Blue Mesa Loop Road via the north park entrance from I-40, exit 311. (Once you turn off the main park road for Blue Mesa, drive 1.7 miles to the pullout.)
9:30 am – approx. 4:00 pm
Take a scenic hike through colorful geologic features, including the Brad Traver Overlook, within the recently acquired land of Sorrel Horse Mesa. Accessed only with a guide, 4 wheel-drive transportation is provided to this remote area. Approximately 6 to 6 ½ miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG about 500 feet. Rated moderate. No pets please on this hike. Be prepared for a one hour drive each way, and a multi-hour hike in the park’s backcountry with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 12 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Saturday, March 14
Guided Backcountry Hike: Petroglyph Mesa
10 am – approx. 4 pm
Meet at Route 66 pullout between mileposts 5 and 6 via the north park entrance from I-40, exit 311.
Hike to a remote, major rock art site in the park’s northern wilderness. About 7.25 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. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, March 15
Guided Backcountry Hike: Historic Blue Forest
Park at the roadside pullout at the Tepees area near mile marker 14 on the northbound (east) side of the park road via the north park entrance from I-40, exit 311.
9:30 am – approx. 12:00 pm
The Blue Forest Trail was 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. The route includes steep ascents and descents and is about 4 miles round trip. AEG about 425 feet. Rating is challenging. Trekking poles are encouraged. No pets please on this hike. Be prepared with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, March 15
Guided Backcountry Hike: Historic Blue Forest
Park at the roadside pullout at the Tepees area near mile marker 14 on the northbound (east) side of the park road via the north park entrance from I-40, exit 311.
1:30 pm – approx. 4:00 pm
The Blue Forest Trail was 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. The route includes steep ascents and descents and is about 4 miles round trip. AEG about 425 feet. Rating is challenging. Trekking poles are encouraged. No pets please on this hike. Be prepared with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, March 22
Guided Backcountry Hike: Historic Rainbow Forest Road
Meet at Rainbow Forest picnic area via the south park entrance from US Hwy 180.
10 am – approx. 2 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. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) work will also be explored. Nearly 4.75 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG about 225 feet. Rated easy. Pets welcome 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. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, March 29

Guided Backcountry Hike: Martha’s Butte & Beyond
Meet at Dry Wash Bridge south of mile marker 22, in the dirt pullout on the east side of the road via the south park entrance from US Hwy 180.
10:00 am—approx. 3 pm
Ramble over undulating terrain to experience abundant, ancient rock art. Hike is about 5 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG approximately 225 feet. Rating is 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. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.


Saturday, March 28
Guided Backcountry Hike: Wilderness Loop
Meet at Painted Desert Inn via the north park entrance from I-40, exit 311.
10:00 am – approx. 4:30 pm
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 strenuous 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. Call 515-724-4493 for further information.

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

NPS

Daily Fun

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.

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.

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.

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.

 
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.

Last updated: February 15, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Park Road, #2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028

Phone:

(928) 524-6228

Contact Us