Places To Go

Visitors Hiking Blue Mesa Trail
Hiking Bue Mesa Trail

NPS Photo


Upon arrival to the park, many visitors stop at one of the park visitor centers for trip planning guidance and shopping.

Points of Interest

A sampling, north to south

Painted Desert Community Complex plaza in 1962 black and white

1. Painted Desert Visitor Center
Stop for historic architecture,information, bookstore, gift shop, food, and gas.

Sunrise Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark

2. Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark
This trading post turned inn turned museum offers exhibits on the park’s recent human history. Kachina Point behind the historic inn is a great overlook for the red part of the Painted Desert.

Red badland hills in the Painted Desert

3. Painted Desert Overlooks
Enjoy spectacular views of the Painted Desert from several overlooks in this area.

1932 Studebaker at the old Route 66 alignment

4. Route 66 Alignment
A 1932 Studebaker sits where famed Route 66 once cut through the park.

Ancient walls mark the location of the pueblo

5. Puerco Pueblo
View ancestral Puebloan homes and petroglyphs along a 0.3 mi (0.5 km) loop trail.

Petroglyphs cover the surface of Newspaper Rock

6. Newspaper Rock
Look down from an overlook to see over 650 petroglyphs, some as old as 2000 years.

Blue, purple, and gray bands on the badlands at Blue Mesa

7. Blue Mesa
Walk the 1 mi (1.6 km) trail and/or drive the 3.5 mi (5.6 km) loop road to explore colorful geology. Even if you don't want to walk the trail, you should take the scenic drive with its great overlooks of the blue/purple/gray part of the Painted Desert.

Large petrified log spanning a gully while supported underneath

8. Agate Bridge
See a 110 ft (34 m) petrified log spanning a gully.

Petrified wood spread around Jasper Forest at twilight

9. Jasper Forest
Enjoy a panoramic view of an area with a high concentration of petrified wood.

Two hikers stop to look at petrified logs along Crystal Forest Trail

10. Crystal Forest
Many petrified logs glimmer with quartz crystals along a paved 0.75 mi (1.2 km) loop trail.

Visitors looking at fossil bone displays in Rainbow Forest Museum

11. Rainbow Forest Museum and Giant Logs Trail
Study paleontological exhibits in the museum and walk a 0.4 mi (0.6 km) loop trail with many massive, colorful petrified logs.

Petrified wood chunks make up the walls of the ancient Agate House

12. Long Logs & Agate House
A 2.6 mi (4.2 km) trail showcases some of the longest, most colorful petrified logs in the park and a partially reconstructed pueblo originally built of petrified wood.

Last updated: April 15, 2023

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Mailing Address:

Petrified Forest National Park
P.O. Box 2217

Petrified Forest, AZ 86028-2217


928 524-6228

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