Guided Tours

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

Heather Sakurai

Guided Activities

The year 2021 gives a new beginning to possible activities. We have our popular backcountry hikes beginning in mid-January and the paleo demo lab has extended its days. We hope to have more in the spring and summer with an eye towards health and safety. Be sure to check our social media pages (scroll down on any page to the links on the lower right) for information and events. Also, watch for roving rangers and volunteers in areas like Puerco Pueblo, Crystal Forest, and Giant Logs for on-the-spot information.

 

Guided Hikes February 2021


Friday, February 5
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 – approx. 4:00 pm
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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Saturday, February 6
Guided Backcountry Hike: Painted Desert Saunter
Meet at Tiponi overlook.
10:00 am – approx. 2:30 pm
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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, February 7
Guided Backcountry Hike: Martha’s Butte & Beyond
Meet south of mile marker 22 & south of the Dry Wash Bridge, and park on the shoulder on the west side of the road.
10:00 am – approx. 3:00 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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Friday, February 12
Guided Backcountry Hike: Bidahochi
Meet at Hozho picnic area.
10:00 am – approx. 3:00 pm
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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Saturday, February 13
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 road.
9:30 am – approx. 12:30 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 very steep ascents and descents and is about 3.5 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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Saturday, February 13
Guided Backcountry Hike: Haystacks
Meet at the Tepees near mile marker 14 on the southbound (west) side of the road.
1:30 pm – approx. 4:30 pm
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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, February 14
Guided Backcountry Hike: Red Basin/Clam Beds
Meet at pullout along Blue Mesa Loop Road. Drive 1.7 miles on Blue Mesa Road to the left pullout.
9:30 am- approx. 4:30 pm
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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Friday, February 19
Guided Backcountry Hike: Blue Mesa Walkabout
Meet at pullout along Blue Mesa Loop Road. Drive 1.7 miles on Blue Mesa Road to the left pullout.
10:00 am – approx. 3:30 pm
A tour around a landmark in the center of the park through some of the oldest terrain with a variety of geological, paleontological, and archaeological features. Approximately 6 to 6 ½ miles in off-trail conditions. AEG about 600 feet. Rating is moderate due to distance. 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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Saturday, February 20
Guided Backcountry Hike: Third Forest
Meet at Rainbow Forest picnic area near the south park entrance.
10:00 am – approx. 2:00 pm
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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, February 21
Guided Backcountry Hike: Petroglyph Canyon
Meet at Rainbow Forest picnic area near the south park entrance.
9:30 am – approx. 12:30 pm
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 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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants who must be age 12 or older. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, February 21
Guided Backcountry Hike: Jasper Road
Meet at Jasper Forest overlook parking lot.
1:30 pm – approx. 3:30 pm
Enjoy an easy hike along a vintage 1930s era roadbed among beautiful petrified logs. Hike is about 3 miles round trip. AEG about 150 feet. Rated easy. Be prepared for a multi-hour hike in the park’s off-trail backcountry with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Friday, February 26
Guided Backcountry Hike: Siltstone
Meet at paved pullout on north side of road at mile marker 24.
10:00 am – approx. 4 pm
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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Saturday, February 27
Guided Backcountry Hike: Titanic
Meet at the Tepees near mile marker 14. Park at paved pullout on the southbound (west) side of the road.
10:00 am – approx. 3:30 pm
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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, February 28
Guided Backcountry Hike: Four Bridges
Meet at Painted Desert Inn Parking Lot.
10:00 am – approx. 3:15 pm
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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.
 

March 2021 Guided Backcountry Hikes


Friday, March 5
Guided Backcountry Hike: Red Basin/Clam Beds
Meet at pullout along Blue Mesa Loop Road. Drive 1.7 miles on Blue Mesa Road to the left pullout.
9:30 am - approx. 4:30 pm
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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Saturday, March 6
Guided Backcountry Hike: Agate Mesa Ramble
Meet at Agate Bridge Parking Lot
10:00 am – approx. 3:30 pm
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 for a multi-hour hike in the park’s backcountry with adequate food, water, clothing, footwear, hat, and sunscreen. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, March 7
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 – approx. 4:00 pm
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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Friday, March 12
Guided Backcountry Hike: Wilderness Loop
Meet at Painted Desert Inn parking lot
9:30 am – approx. 4:00 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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Saturday, March 13
Guided Backcountry Hike: “Starving Man”
Meet at unpaved, pullouts midway between mile markers 21 and 22 on main park highway.
10 am – approx. 2:30 pm

Hike to a petroglyphs covered boulder. Continue to badlands and ascend a high ridge with panoramic views. About 5 to 5 ½ miles round trip in off-trail conditions. AEG approximately 300 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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, March 14
Guided Backcountry Hike: Bear Spring
Meet at Painted Desert Inn
10:00 am – approx. 3:30 pm
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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Friday, March 19
Guided Backcountry Hike: Bidahochi
Meet at Hozho picnic area.
10:00 am – approx. 3:00 pm
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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Saturday, March 20
Guided Backcountry Hike: Flattops Circumnavigation
Meet at paved pullout on north side of road at mile marker 24
10:00 am – approx. 3:30 pm
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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, March 21
Guided Backcountry Hike: Petroglyph Mesa
Meet at Route 66 pullout between mileposts 5 and 6.
10 am – approx. 4 pm
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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Friday, March 26
Guided Backcountry Hike: Historic Photo Retake
Meet behind the Rainbow Forest Museum.
9:30 am – approx. 12:30 pm
Visit the locations of historic photos and use your photography talent to duplicate them, making a then and now comparison. Learn the Park’s early history including visitors like Albert Einstein, transportation used, and landmarks commonly visited. Approximately 3.5 miles round trip in off-trail conditions. 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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Friday, March 26
Guided Backcountry Hike: Petroglyph Canyon
Meet at Rainbow Forest picnic area near the south park entrance.
1:30 pm – approx 4:30 pm
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 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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants who must be age 12 or older. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Saturday, March 27
Guided Backcountry Hike: Martha’s Butte & Beyond
Meet south of mile marker 22 & south of the Dry Wash Bridge, and park on the shoulder on the west side of the road.
10:00 am – approx. 3:00 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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.

Sunday, March 28
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. Six feet social distancing will apply. Limited to 8 participants. Call 515-724-4493 for further information and to register.
 
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

Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Paleontology Lab Demonstrations
Inquire at the Painted Desert Visitor Center
Join a fossil preparator as they work on fossil specimens discovered in the park.

 
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

Petrified Forest 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.
https://www.petrifiedforestfieldinstitute.org/
 
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 14, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Park Road, #2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028

Phone:

(928) 524-6228

Contact Us