- Petrified Forest is a surprising land of scenic wonders and fascinating science. The park is located in northeast Arizona and features one of the world's largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood. Also included in the park's 93,533 acres are the multihued badlands of the Painted Desert, archeological sites and displays of 225 million year old fossils.
Note: The removal of petrified wood or other features of the park is prohibited by law.
Recreation - Petrified Forest National Park provides access to many outdoor activities. The Painted Desert Visitor Center provides information, shows the park's orientation film and sells books, postcards, posters, maps, slides and videos.
Two miles from the north entrance of the park is Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark. It has historically served as a trading post, an inn and restaurant. Today it is a museum with exhibits and book sales. At various times Native American artisans demonstrate crafts such as rug weaving and silver smithing.
There are no campgrounds or lodging facilities in the park but they are available in nearby communities. Overnight backpacking is allowed in the Painted Desert wilderness. A permit is required and can be obtained for free at the visitor center or museum.
Climate - Summers are generally hot in eastern Arizona with temperatures in the 90s and occasionally in the low 100s. In winter the temperatures vary with highs reaching 20s or 50 degrees F. Annual rainfall is in the region is nine to ten inches with 40 percent of it occurring as thunderstorms in the late summer. There is occasional snow in the winter. High winds can happen any time of year. The humidity is usually low.
The park is located in northeastern Arizona about two hours east of Flagstaff, Arizona, and about one hour west of Gallup, New Mexico. Access to this site is easiest from Highway 40.