Petrified Forest National Park/The Painted Desert

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Amy Travels on December 30, 2000

Petrified Forest National Park is located near the town of Holbrook, Arizona. If you are approaching the park from the west and wish to continue east, I recommend entering the park from Highway 180 on the south end. If you are approaching the park from the east and wish to continue west, I recommend entering the park from I-40, exit 311. This is to avoid back-tracking.

Since we were approaching the park from Holbrook, which is to the west, we entered at the south entrance, off of Highway 180. If you are entering the park this way, I recommend fueling up in Holbrook, since Highway 180 is pretty desolate.

We stopped at the Rainbow Forest Museum and Visitor Center upon entering the park. This gave us a good background on how the petrified wood came about. Giant Logs Trail is located behind the museum/visitor center. This easy trail takes you through one of the highest concentrations of petrified wood in the park. I recommend this trail.

Other points of interest in the park are Agate Bridge, the Badlands area, the Tepees. You can also find petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock and Puerco Pueblo areas of the park.

On the northeastern end of the park (near I-40 entrance) are the Painted Desert overlooks. While there were at least five overlooks, we only stopped at two because it looked pretty much the same from both. The Painted Desert Visitor Center is located in this area of the park.

The entrance fee for the park is $10 per private vehicle. This is good for seven days. Or, if you have the National Park pass, admission is included. Removing petrified wood from the park is illegal. While at the Rainbow Forest Museum, we enjoyed reading letters from visitors who experienced lots of bad luck after removing petrified wood from the park. Instead, purhase petrified wood at the gift shop located across from the Rainbow Forest Museum. This petrified wood was removed from private land.

Painted Desert

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

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