Petrified Forest

Location: East Central Arizona
Trip Starts: Visitor’s Center
Trip Ends: Visitor’s Center
Total Distance: 3 miles
Hike Type: Roundtrip, Loop Hike
Hike Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Trails Used: No Trails, Bushwack
Trail Traffic: Light
Trip Type: Day or Overnight Hike
More Information:

National Park Service
Petrified Forest National Park
P.O. Box 2217
Petrified Forest National Park, AZ 86028


Petrified Forest is located in northeastern Arizona and features one of the world’s largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood. The Chinle Formation or multi-hued badlands of the park are known locally as the Painted Desert with historic structures, archeological sites and displays of 225 million-year-old fossils. The backcountry of the Petrified Forest National Park includes 50,260 acres of established wilderness but day hikes are the most popular way to explore the backcountry. There are no developed trails in Petrified Forest wilderness so most hiking is cross-country. Water and shade are scarce in the backcountry, so take plenty of water, a hat, and sun screen.

No campgrounds or lodging are available in the park, but nearby communities offer full service accommodations. Overnight backpacking is available in the Petrified Forest Wilderness. A free permit is required and can be obtained at the Painted Desert Visitor Center or Rainbow Forest Museum.

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