Things To Do

Many people don't realize how much there is to do at Petrified Forest National Park! There is something to interest everyone here. Be sure to check our Calendar to see if something special is happening the day you will be here. Right now some things are limited due to safety considerations.

VIP David Denslow at the Temp PDVC
VIP David Denslow at the Temporary Painted Desert Visitor Center


Visitor Centers and Exhibits
Stop at Painted Desert Visitor Center and the Rainbow Forest Museum to plan your visit, ask questions, get your Junior Ranger booklet, and discover exhibits.

Preparing fossils
Preparing fossils

NPS/Diana Boudreau

Museum Demonstration Lab
The Museum Demonstration Lab (Demo Lab) at the Painted Desert Visitor Center is where you can see one-of-a-kind fossils from Petrified Forest National Park being prepared by trained paleontologists! Peek through the window to see fossils from the museum collection. Watch a live microscope feed on the TV as paleontologists remove rock from fossil bone. Chat with scientists via a two-way, hands-free speaker.

Colorful classic cars parked at Crystal Forest
Classic Cars at Crystal


Hit the Road
A good starting point is a drive through the park, stopping at some of the overlooks.

Hikers on the Blue Mesa Trail among colorfully banded badlands
Hikers on the Blue Mesa Trail


Hit the Trail
There are maintained trails in the park that highlight topics like archeology, natural environments, and the famous petrified logs.

A guided hike into Devil's Playground.
A guided hike into Devil's Playground.


Guided Activities
Join a ranger—or scientist, volunteer, cultural demonstrator, reenactor, or other field expert—for a guided activity.

Backcountry hikers amidst color badlands.
Backcountry Hike in Red Basin


The adventurous hiker will love wandering off trail in the Petrified Forest. For those that want guidance we have Off the Beaten Path routes as well.

Tents glow under the night sky in the wilderness area
Hiking and camping in the Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area is a great opportunity for solitude and adventure. Enjoy colorful sunsets, the incredible night sky, and inspiring sunrises.
Bicycling through the Tepees
Bicycling through the Tepees


The park road is great for exploring, but there are a few other routes you can take by bike.

Dog and Daddy on Crystal Forest Trail
Dog and Daddy on Crystal Forest Trail


Dogs and Other Critters
Enjoy the park with your furry (feathered, scaled or…) friend or family member!

Horses on the Wilderness Access Trail
Horses on the Wilderness Access Trail


Horseback Riding
Play cowboy! Enjoy a ride in the park--BYOH (bring your own horse!)

Visitors look at a geocache
Visitors check out one of the park's geocaches



This worldwide game—or other similar pastimes—of hiding and seeking treasure can be played in some national parks, including Petrified Forest!

Last updated: February 17, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Petrified Forest National Park
P.O. Box 2217

Petrified Forest, AZ 86028-2217


928 524-6228

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