Guided Tours

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

Heather Sakuri

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.

 

December Programs and Events

Wednesday
Paleontology lab demonstration
Painted Desert Visitor Center complex
Anytime between 11am – 3pm

Science is active and ongoing at Petrified Forest National Park! Follow signs at Painted Desert Visitor Center that lead to the park’s ‘paleo lab’ where you can interact with park scientists working on real Triassic-era fossils.

Fri Dec 8 & Sat Dec 9 8am-5pm
111th Park Anniversary Days
Painted Desert Visitor Center and Rainbow Forest Museum

Petrified Forest became a national monument December 8, 1906 and a national park December 9, 1962. Help us celebrate with the first 111 visitors each day to Painted Desert Visitor Center or Rainbow Forest Museum getting a gift of one free postcard of their choosing!

Fri Dec 15: Viewing now until Fri Dec 15. On Fri Dec 15, event 4pm-8pm
Petrified Forest Artist-in-Residence Art Show and Silent Auction
La Posada Hotel, 303 E 2nd St, Winslow, AZ

The park’s Artist-in-Residence (AiR) program produces a variety of art showcasing the beauty of the park. Enjoy an exhibit and related silent auction of this art now through Dec 15. Money derived from art sold will perpetuate the park’s AiR program and help fund scholarships for nearby Northland Pioneer College. Silent auction ends Fri Dec 15 at 7:30pm. An event at the La Posada Fri Dec 15 from 4pm-8pm will include live entertainment with cultural dancers, a Navajo rug weaving demonstration, and the Harvey Girls. For further information, contact Kip Woolford (Kip_Woolford@nps.gov, 928-524-6228 x273).

December 2017 Off the Beaten Path Hikes

December 2, 10am
Guided Off the Beaten Path Hike: Wilderness Loop
Meet at Painted Desert Inn

Hike into the park’s ‘Black Forest’ area to experience some of the largest and youngest (geologically speaking) petrified trees in the park. Hike is about 7 ½ miles round trip in off-trail conditions. 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.

Sunday December 3, 10am
Guided Off the Beaten Path Hike: Flattops Circumnavigation
Meet at unpaved pullout on south side of road between mileposts 23 and 24

This hike traverses a variety of terrains, with some steep descents, past archaeological sites and colorful geologic formations. Hike is about 4 ½ miles round trip in off-trail conditions. 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.

December 9, 9:30am
Guided Off the Beaten Path 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.

Take a long hike to and through colorful geologic features, including some in newly acquired lands. Hike is about 8 ½ miles round trip in off-trail conditions. 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.

Sunday December 10, 10am
Guided Off the Beaten Path Hike: Marthas Butte & Beyond
Meet at Dry Wash Bridge south of milepost 22, in the dirt pullout on the east side of the highway

Ramble over undulating terrain to experience abundant, ancient rock art. Hike is about 4 ½ miles round trip in off-trail conditions. 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.

December 16, 10am
Guided Off the Beaten Path Hike: Petroglyph Mesa
Meet at Route 66 pullout between mileposts 5 and 6 in the northern part of the park.

Hike to a major rock art site in the park’s Wilderness. Hike is about 7 ½ miles round trip in off-trail conditions. 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.

Sunday December 17, 10am
Guided Off the Beaten Path Hike: Four Bridges
Meet at Painted Desert Inn

Hike into the Painted Desert to Onyx Bridge and also three lesser-known bridges. Hike is about 5 ½ miles round trip in rugged off-trail conditions. 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.

December 23, 9:30am
Guided Off the Beaten Path Hike: Jasper Forest
Meet at Jasper Forest overlook parking lot

Enjoy an easy hike along a vintage 1930s era roadbed among beautiful petrified logs. Hike is about 3 miles round trip. 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.

December 23, 1:30pm
Guided Off the Beaten Path Hike: Onyx Bridge
Meet at Painted Desert Inn

Enjoy a walk to Onyx Bridge, a dramatic example of petrified wood eroding out of the Black Forest Bed of the Chinle Formation. Hike is about 4 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. 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.

Sunday December 24, 10am
Guided Off the Beaten Path Hike: Flattops Circumnavigation
Meet at unpaved pullout on south side of road between mileposts 23 and 24

This hike traverses a variety of terrains, with some steep descents, past archaeological sites and colorful geologic formations. Hike is about 4 ½ miles round trip in off-trail conditions. 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.

December 30, 10am
Guided Off the Beaten Path Hike: Wilderness Loop
Meet at Painted Desert Inn

Hike into the park’s Black Forest area to experience some of the largest and youngest (geologically speaking) petrified trees in the park. Hike is about 7 ½ miles round trip in off-trail conditions. 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.

Sunday December 31, 10am
Guided Off the Beaten Path Hike: Historic Blue Forest Trail
Park at the roadside pullout at the Teepees area near mile marker 14 on the northbound (east) side of the road

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 this trail and beyond through rugged, beautiful badlands. The route includes steep ascents and descents and is about 4 miles round trip. Trekking poles are encouraged. No pets please on this hike. Be prepared with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Limited to 12 participants. Call 928-368-3821 for further information.

 
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.

 
Navajo Rug Weavers
Navajo rug weavers

NPS

Cultural Demonstrators

The park hosts regional cultural demonstrators throughout the year, coordinated by the park's partner Petrified Forest Museum Association. Visit with the demonstrators at the Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark (2 miles from the north entrance of the park) between 10am and 4pm. Calendar is available here.

 

Last updated: December 1, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Park Road, PO Box 2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028

Phone:

(928) 524-6228

Contact Us