Trip Itineraries

Skeleton hanging in museum
Rainbow Forest Museum & Visitor Center exhibits the bones of ancient animals


If you have one hour:

Driving the 28 miles (45 km) from one end of the park to the other takes about an hour.

We recommend you decide which end of the park interests you and spend time there, saving the rest for another visit. The highest concentrations of petrified wood are found in the southern end of the park, while the northern end showcases the human story and Painted Desert vistas.

South End:

  • Visit Rainbow Forest Museum & Visitor Center to check out the paleontological exhibits and watch the park film.
  • Walk Giant Logs and Crystal Forest Trails
  • Drive the Blue Mesa Road Loop for views of colorful badlands

North End:

  • Visit Painted Desert Visitor Center and watch the park film
  • Select several overlooks to take in views of the Painted Desert
  • Visit Painted Desert Inn
  • Walk the Painted Desert Rim Trail between Tawa and Kachina Points

Check the Operating Hours & Seasons page for park and facility hours.

puffy clouds over badlands with distinct banding
Colorful geology showcased at Blue Mesa


If you have several hours, add...

  • Drive through the entire park (28 miles/45 km on main park road)
  • Stop at Painted Desert Inn
  • Enjoy the views and wayside exhibits at Route 66, Newspaper Rock, and Jasper Forest
  • Walk the Puerco Pueblo Trail
  • Walk the Giant Logs Trail (pick up a trail guide outside Rainbow Forest Museum)
  • Attend a Ranger Program
  • Explore Blue Mesa and walk the trail
hikers follow park volunteer in painted desert
A guided hike into the Wilderness Area


If you have half a day, add...

If you have a day or more, add...

Last updated: March 18, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Park Road, #2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028


(928) 524-6228

Contact Us