Petrified Forest National Park is located in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. The park is about 30 miles long from north to south, and its width varies from a maximum of about 12 miles in the north to a minimum of about 1 mile. Named for its large deposits of petrified wood, the park covers about 346 square miles of semi-desert shrub steppe as well as highly eroded and colorful badlands.
It is located on Interstate 40 near Holbrook, Arizona. Historic U.S. Route 66 also passed through the park. The park's north entrance is just off Interstate 40, and the south entrance off U.S. Highway 180. Visitors may enter at one end of the park and exit at the other.
Averaging 5,400 feet in elevation, the park has a dry windy climate with temperatures that vary from summer highs of about 100F to winter lows well below freezing. More than 400 species of plants, including grasses such as bunchgrass, blue grama, and sacaton, are found in the park.
The park offers a wide range of things to do and activities, from hiking, biking, camping, fishing, eco tours and winter sports.
|The entrance area to Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona|
Painted Desert Visitor Center
|Rainbow Forest Museum
There is no shortage of activities for individuals, groups, or families to enjoy outdoors in Petrified Forest. The diverse habitats allow for enjoyable activities ranging from hiking, backpacking, geocaching, ranger talks & tours, and horseback riding.
There are fossils, badlands, buttes and mesas, ancient petroglyphs, wildlife and wildflowers, and vast vistas for more than a hundred miles! If you are craving some quiet solitude, the Petrified Forest is perfect for hiking and contemplation.
The Rainbow Forest Museum & Visitor Center is located on the south end of the park. The Painted Desert Visitor Center is located on the north side of the park, just north of Interstate I-40; the Painted Desert Inn is located nearby, a national historic landmark and museum.
Driving the 28 miles (45 km) from one end of the park to the other takes about an hour.
|The famous Tepees at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona|
|Snow at the Blue Mesa at Petrified Forest National Park (Photo courtesy of the NPS)|
| Petrified Forest National Park
1 Park Road, #2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028
Website of Petrified Forest National Park at NPS
|Hills at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona (Photo courtesy of the NPS)|
|Blue Mesa Trail winding through the Petrified Forest National Park (Photo courtesy of the NPS)|
|Overlook at the Painted Desert in Arizona|
Historic U.S. Route 66 through the Painted Desert
Shown here is signage at the Painted Desert marking the path of Route 66 through eight states, and through this area. It reads, in part ...
"Gaze down the long road and listen. You may hear echoes of the past ... echoes of Route 66"
|Historic U.S. Route 66 roadbed seen as it passes through the Painted Desert|