Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

ArizonaOutdoor Activities

Petrified Forest National Park, located in northeastern Arizona, is a wonderland of petrified wood, vibrant badlands, and ancient history. The park’s namesake, petrified wood, is the result of millions of years of fossilization, transforming once-majestic trees into stunning mineral landscapes. But beyond the petrified wood, the park boasts a rich tapestry of history, dating back over 200 million years. Evidence of dinosaurs, ancestral Puebloan people, and early Route 66 travelers paint a vivid picture of the park’s dynamic past.

Visitors to Petrified Forest National Park can embark on a variety of adventures. Take a scenic drive along the park’s main road, stopping at overlooks to soak in the breathtaking views of the Painted Desert, a kaleidoscope of colorful rock formations. Hike among the petrified logs on the Long Logs Trail, marveling at the intricate details and vibrant hues. Delve into the park’s history at the Rainbow Forest Museum, where you can see fossils, artifacts, and exhibits about the park’s geology and inhabitants.

Petrified Forest National Park holds a special place in the history of Route 66, the iconic highway that once stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles, being the only National Park located directly on the Mother Road. The park’s Painted Desert Inn, built in the 1930s, served as a popular stop for weary travelers, offering food, lodging, and a glimpse into the park’s wonders. Today, visitors can still drive along sections of the original Route 66 within the park and pull over for a special Route 66 Alignment display, experiencing a piece of American history firsthand.

Planning a road trip to Petrified Forest National Park? Check out our full guide to Things to See in Petrified Forest National Park.

Last modified: April 21, 2024
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Painted Desert Overlooks at Petrified Forest National Park on Arizona Route 66

Petrified Forest National Park

5 based on 1 reviews

Address:
Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona 86028

Hours:
8:00am - 5:00pm, Daily

Cost:
$25 (Private Vehicle), $15 (Per Person), $20 (Per Motorcycle)

Phone Number:
(928) 524-6228

Official Website

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Photos of Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona

Painted Desert Visitor Center at Petrified Forest National Park on Arizona Route 66
Painted Desert Overlooks at Petrified Forest National Park on Arizona Route 66
Painted Desert Inn - Petrified Forest National Park on Arizona Route 66
Painted Desert Overlooks at Petrified Forest National Park on Arizona Route 66
Route 66 Alignment at Petrified Forest National Park on Arizona Route 66
Newspaper Rock at Petrified Forest National Park on Arizona Route 66
Blue Mesa at Petrified Forest National Park on Arizona Route 66
Jasper Forest at Petrified Forest National Park on Arizona Route 66
Jasper Forest at Petrified Forest National Park on Arizona Route 66
Crystal Forest at Petrified Forest National Park on Arizona Route 66
Things to See in Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Rainbow Forest Museum at Petrified Forest National Park on Arizona Route 66
Rainbow Forest Museum at Petrified Forest National Park on Arizona Route 66

Know Before You Go

To make the most of your visit to Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, here are some things to know before you go.

  • All items in the park are protected. Collecting items and objects other than photographs and things sold in the gift show is prohibited. This includes petrified wood, fossils, rocks, soil, plants, pottery shards, arrowheads, petroglyphs, feathers, and grass. If you witness resource theft in the park please call 928-524-6025 and provide a description.
  • There is a gas station at the Painted Desert Visitor Center if you need to fuel up before driving through the park.
  • Painted Desert Diner is open 8am-3pm daily for meals. Grab-and-go options are available at the Rainbow Forest Museum.
  • Bicycles are permitted on paved roads.
  • Pets are welcome. Do not leave them unattended in the car. Pets are allowed on trails as long as they are leashed and picked up after. Animals other than service animals are not allowed inside the visitors centers.
  • Don’t forget to use sunblock and stay hydrated.
  • Read our guide to Things to See in Petrified Forest National Park to plan your trip.

Where to Stay Near Petrified Forest National Park

Complete your travel itinerary and get a good night’s rest on your road trip with a stay at one of these Route 66 motels in Arizona or New Mexico.

Wigwam Motel

Have you slept in a Wigwam lately? Seven Wigwam Motels were built in the 1930s and 1940s. Today, only three remain, including two on Route 66. Each motel room in the Holbrook Wigwam Motel is in an individual building shaped like a teepee. Spend the night in this motel, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was the inspiration for Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel in the Pixar movie Cars.

La Posada Hotel

La Posada in Winslow, Arizona offers a four-star experience that can’t be beat. The 1930 hotel was created by architect Mary Colter, hotelier Fred Harvey and the Santa Fe Railway. It was the last great railway hotel built in America and the finest historic hotel on Route 66. Over the years it has served an impressive roster of celebrity guests, from James Cagney to Franklin D. Roosevelt to Amelia Earhart to John Wayne. Book a room and a reservation at The Turquoise Room, one of the finest restaurants in the southwest.

Historic El Rancho Hotel

One of the best motels on Route 66 is the Historic El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, New Mexico. Sleep where the stars have at this 1940s hotel that has hosted some of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars and makers, including Robert Mitchum, Elia Kazan, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, William Holden, Billy Wilder, Kirk Douglas, Gregory Peck, Troy Donahue, and more. Photos of the stars are peppered throughout the intricately designed property and each room is themed with a star’s photo and information.

Enhance your visit to the Petrified Forest National Park with a tour!

Attractions Near Petrified Forest National Park on Route 66

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Reviews & Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

1 Review of Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona

  1. Absolutely fantastic national park! I only had half a day to spend there and I saw a lot but wish I had more time for hiking. I’ll definitely plan a full day next time to see even more!

    Reply

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