Road Closures Updates

Federal Highways Administration Road and Bridge Rehabilitation Project

Estimated Project Time: January 2nd through Late May, 2020


The Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) and contractors will be repairing and replacing 3 bridges and sections of the park road beginning early in January 2020 and continuing through the spring. The 9.5 million dollar project will take place in two phases:

The first phase, estimated January 2nd through April 11th, will close the southern section of the park road and the locations within that area of the park to visitors. Access to the Rainbow Forest District, the associated log fields, and southern wilderness area will be open and reached only by HWY-180. There will be no access from I-40 to HWY-180, and vise versa, at this time. Areas closed at this time include: Agate Bridge Overlook and Jasper Forest Overlook. More information on how to reach open locations during Phase 1 is provided below.

The second phase, estimated April 12th through late May, will reopen the park road and previously closed areas to visitors. Construction will continue as one lane in the construction zone will be open. Visitors can expect travel delays no longer than 15 minutes in this area of the park. Access from I-40 to HWY-180, and vise versa, will be possible at this time.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you as you travel through Petrified Forest National Park. While we anticipate each phase and the project to be completed on time, it may be possible that the construction project runs as late as June due to unforeseen events such as severe weather.
 
A full map of the park. A section of the southern park road between Blue Mesa and Rainbow Forest is highlighted red showing the construction zone. The text reads," Federal Highway Administration Bridge and Rehabilitation Project January 2nd to Late May.
The road closure will be in full effect during phase 1 of construction. During phase 2, access throughout the park is possible with brief delays in the construction zone.

NPSphoto

 

Road Closure Phase 1 - estimated: January 2nd through April 11th

During phase 1 of the road closure, the park is split into two regions. The northern region is only accessed from I-40 and contains the majority of Painted Desert overlooks and ancestral puebloean sites. The southern region is only accessed from HWY-180 and contains the petrified log field trails and Late Triassic exhibits. The giftshops and bookstore will be open at either end of the park. Areas that are open and where to access these locations are listed below. There may also be some work on the bridge south of Crystal Forest with one lane, up to 15 minutes of delay.

The following locations will be closed to visitors during phase 1 of construction:

  • Agate Bridge Overlook
  • Jasper Forest Overlook
 
This park boundary map shows the road open from I-40 to Blue Mesa Loop Road
Entering the park from I-40 during phase 1 will provide access up to Blue Mesa Loop Road.

NPSphoto

 

Entering the park from I-40 during Phase 1

The following locations are accessible from Interstate 40, exit 311:
All distances are from the Painted Desert Visitor Center

• Painted Desert Visitor Center
• Painted Desert Oasis giftshop and cafe
• Gas station
• Tawa Trail
• Tiponi Point (0.7 miles / 1.1 KM)
• Tawa Point (1.6 miles / 2.6 KM)
• Painted Desert Rim Trail (1.6 miles / 2.6 KM)
• Painted Desert Inn and Kachina Point (2 miles / 3.2 KM)
• Painted Desert Wilderness Trailhead (2 miles / 3.2 KM)
• Chinde Point (2.5 miles / 4 KM)
• Pintado Point (2.7 miles / 4.3 KM)
• Nizhoni Point (3.9 miles / 6.3 KM)
• Whipple Point (4 miles / 6.4 KM)
• Lacey Point (4.5 miles / 7.2 KM)
• Route 66 (5.3 miles / 8.5 KM)
• Puerco Pueblo (10.8 miles / 17.4 KM)
• Newspaper Rock (12 miles / 19.3 KM)
• The Teepees (13.9 miles / 22.4 KM)
• Blue Mesa Loop Road and Blue Mesa Trail (17.3 miles / 27.8KM)

There is no access to the Rainbow Forest Historical District or
HWY-180 from I-40 during the road closure.

 
This park boundary map shows accessible areas in the south from HWY-180.
Accessing the park from HWY-180 provides our Triassic fossil exhibits as well as the best place to see the large log fields.

NPSphoto

 

Entering the Park from HWY-180 during Phase 1

The following locations are accessible from Highway 180:
Most locations are accessed from within the Rainbow Forest Historical District
There may also be some work on the bridge south of Crystal Forest with one lane, up to 15 minutes of delay.

• Rainbow Forest Museum
• Rainbow Forest Lodge giftshop
• Giant Logs Trail
• Long Logs and Agate House Trail
• Southern Wilderness access (2 miles / 3.2 KM from Rainbow Forest)
• Crystal Forest (5.8 miles / 9.3 KM from Rainbow Forest)


There is no access to I-40 from HWY-180 during the road closure.

Last updated: March 11, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Park Road, #2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028

Phone:

(928) 524-6228

Contact Us