"Petrified Forest and Painted Desert" Petrified Forest National Park by Ewingjr98

My dad and I stopped at the Petrified Forest on our way across Arizona in 2006 while heading to California. Before arriving at the Petrified Forest, we drove through New Mexico, then after our time in this park, we spent the night in Holbrook, AZ, just about 20 miles down Interstate 40 from the park entrance.

Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Park is a relatively small area, covering a narrow north-south corridor about 28 miles in length. Most of the major sites are just off the park's central road, but a few require a short hike from a paved parking area. Some of the main areas we visited were:

Crystal Forest -- large concentration of petrified logs with paths through the area

Jasper Forest -- Overlook of a valley filled with petrified logs that have eroded from a nearby cliff

Newspaper Rock -- Ancient petroglyphs (rock carvings) done by local native people

Blue Mesa -- a 3-mile loop on top of a mesa overlooking badlands and some petrified logs

Puerco Pueblo -- Foundations and petroglyphs of an Indian village

Painted Desert -- a few stops at the northern end of the park offer stunning views of this colorful area

The entrance fee at the Petrified Forest is $10 per vehicle for a 1-week period, but we paid $50 for the one-year National Parks Pass, and after visiting the Grand Canyon ($25), Zion National Park ($20), Lake Meade ($5), and Death Valley ($20) it quickly paid for itself, and it's good for all National Parks for a full year.

  • Last visit to Petrified Forest National Park: Sep 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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