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.


October Programs and Events

Wednesday October 11, 9am–3pm
Throughout the park
National Fossil Day
is an annual family-friendly celebration held to highlight the scientific and educational value of paleontology and importance of preserving fossils for future generations. A perfect place to celebrate is right here at Petrified Forest!

Wednesday October 11, 9am–12pm & 1pm–3pm
Make Your Own Fossil & Watch Real Fossil Preparation
Painted Desert Visitor Center complex

Drop in anytime to watch paleontologists work on real Triassic era fossils, and get hands-on to make your very own fossil.

Wednesday October 11, 11am & 2pm
Fossil Preparation Lab Tour
Meet inside Painted Desert Visitor Center

Tour the newly expanded, real working lab our park paleontologists use! Allow for a short walk to and from the lab. About 45 minutes.

Wednesday October 11, 11am & 2pm
Triassic Talk
Crystal Forest shade shelter

How did Petrified Forest come to be? What was the environment like here over 200 million years ago? And do the rocks of Petrified Forest truly reveal the dawn of the dinosaurs? Attend this talk to find out! About 45 minutes.

Wednesday October 11, 1:30pm–3pm
Conversation & Cookies with a Park Paleontologist
Rainbow Forest Museum

Enjoy good company and a delicious fossil-inspired treat while you engage with one of the park paleontologists.

Saturday October 14, 9am–3pm
International Archeology Day

International Archeology Day is a celebration of archeology and the thrill of discovery, and these programs provide chances to indulge your inner Indiana Jones!

Saturday October 14, 9am
Backcountry Archeology Hike: Crystal Ridge
Location to be revealed once registered

This rugged 2 ½ mi (4 km) hike will visit a series of small and large pueblos and rock art sites on Crystal Ridge. Hike limited to 20 people, RSVP required. Email Amy at or call 928-524-6228 x233. Allow 3 hours.

Saturday October 14, 10am–3pm
Puerco Pueblo Archeology Exhibits
Puerco Pueblo

Drop in anytime to enjoy exhibits, artifact displays and kids activities. Engage with a park archeologist about the park’s rich history and ongoing research in the park.

Saturday October 14, 10:30am & 1:30pm
Puerco Pueblo Tours
Meet at Puerco Pueblo parking lot

Walk with an archeologist through Puerco Pueblo and learn how Ancestral Pueblo people farmed, constructed pueblos, and interacted with far-reaching regions of the Southwest. 0.3 mi (0.5 km) hike on accessible paved trail. Allow 30 minutes.

Saturday October 14, 11am & 2pm
Petroglyph Walks
Meet at Puerco Pueblo parking lot

Petroglyphs are images carved into the face of rocks, and they represent ideas communicated by the area’s early inhabitants. Join an archeologist for a short hike to enjoy and learn. Hike is ¾ mi (1 km) roundtrip on a dirt road. Allow up to one hour.

Saturday October 14, 1pm
Backcountry Archeology Hike: Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
Meet at Puerco Pueblo parking lot

The CCC built much of the infrastructure of the park and accomplished a great amount of work in a short amount of time. Visit the remains of a CCC camp, their stone quarries, and historic inscriptions. Hike is 1 ½ mi (2.4 km) roundtrip. Bring water, hat, sunscreen, and sturdy shoes. Allow two hours. Hike limited to 30 people.

Petrified Forest Field Institute Programs
The programs below are offered by Petrified Forest Field Institute and an additional fee is required; see for additional information.

Saturday October 7, 8am–12pm
Footsteps Through Time: Fall Photo Hike
Contact Petrified Forest Field Institute

This will be an enjoyable morning of light to moderate hiking, exploring interesting areas to photograph and pleasant camaraderie with skilled photographer David Behar. Basic camera instruction and shot planning will be provided as needed, with this workshop open to novice and advanced users alike.

Sunday October 8, all day
In the Land of Color: Exploring the Devil’s Playground
Contact Petrified Forest Field Institute

Devil’s Playground is only accessible to a few people every year, and is an absolutely extraordinary landscape of bizarre eroded rock, hoodoos and badlands. Join paleontologist Christa Sadler on a day-long adventure in the unique and little-visited Devil’s Playground area of the park to explore its geology, paleontology, history, flora and fauna.
Junior rangers speak with a ranger
Junior Rangers speak with Ranger Lauren


Daily Fun

Find Your Park

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.

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

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.

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!

Daily (as scheduling allows)
Cultural Demonstrations
Painted Desert Inn
Anytime between 10am—4pm

A cultural demonstrator with ancestral ties to the area shares engaging skills and traditions. Stop by and enjoy!

Participants in Field Institute
Dig with a paleontologist


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 for more. Or click here to go directly to their class schedule.

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.

Navajo Rug Weavers
Navajo rug weavers


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: October 14, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

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


(928) 524-6228

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