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.
 
December Guided Backcountry Hikes
Cancelled due to weather and road conditions
Sunday December 1
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 928-368-3821 for further information and to register.


Saturday December 7
Guided Backcountry Hike: Bidahochi
Meet at Chinde Point picnic area
10:00 am
A short, steep descent from the Bidahochi Formation to 3 oases on the Lithodendron flood plain. Visit geologic features and some of the largest petrified logs in the park. Approximately 4 ½ to 5 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG about 600 feet. Rated challenging due to steep and rocky descent and ascent. 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 928-368-3821 for further information and to register.

Sunday December 8
Guided Backcountry Hike: Titanic
Meet at The Teepees near mile marker 14. Park at paved pullout on west side of highway.
10:00 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. Call 928-368-3821 for further information and to register.

Saturday December 14
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 928-368-3821 for further information and to register.


Sunday December 15
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 928-368-3821 for further information and to register.

Saturday December 21
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 928-368-3821 for further information and to register.

Sunday December 22
Guided Backcountry Hike: Historic Blue Forest
Park at the roadside pullout at the Teepees area near mile marker 14 on the northbound (east) side of the road
9:30 am
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 928-368-3821 for further information and to register.

Sunday December 22
Guided Backcountry Hike: Jasper Forest
Meet at Jasper Forest overlook parking lot
1:30 pm
Enjoy an easy hike along a vintage 1930s era roadbed among beautiful petrified logs. Hike is about 3 to 3 ½ miles round trip. AEG 250 feet. Rating is easy. Be prepared for a multi-hour hike in the park’s off-trail backcountry with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 15 participants. Call 928-368-3821 for further information and to register.

Saturday December 28
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 928-368-3821 for further information and to register.

Sunday December 29
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 928-368-3821 for further information and to register.
 
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: December 5, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Park Road, #2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028

Phone:

(928) 524-6228

Contact Us