Petrified Forest National Park

Location, Size and Access

Petrified Forest National Park
1 Park Road, #2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028
Phone 928.524.6228
Website of Petrified Forest National Park at NPS

Petrified Forest National Park is an American national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. 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.

The Park is a favorite stop for those travelers on riding on nearby Route 66. Petrified Forest National Park is the only park in the National Park System containing a section of Historic Route 66.

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.

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.

Averaging about 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, dominated by grasses such as bunchgrass, blue grama, and sacaton, are found in the park. Fauna include larger animals such as pronghorns, coyotes, and bobcats, many smaller animals, such as deer mice, snakes, lizards, seven kinds of amphibians, and more than 200 species of birds, some of which are permanent residents and many of which are migratory.

Let's Visit the Park!

The park offers a wide range of things to do and activities, from hiking, biking, camping, fishing, eco tours and winter sports. We have visited Petrified Forest on numerous trips, and have enjoyed its many attractions, tours, trails and outdoor activities

Often we stop there while road tripping on Historic U.S. Route 66 at nearby Holbrook, Winslow and Flagstaff.

Spend a day, or more, and enjoy and explore Petrified Forest National Park!

Map showing the location of the Petrified Forest & Painted Desert on U.S. Highway 66 in Arizona
Map showing the location of the Petrified Forest & Painted Desert on U.S. Highway 66 in Arizona
Petrified Forest Entrance
Entrance area at Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified wood at the Park
Petrified wood on a beautiful blue sky day in the Petrified Forest
Painted Desert Visitor Center
Painted Desert Visitor Center
Rainbow Forest Museum
Rainbow Forest Museum

Attractions in the Park

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.

Driving the 28 miles (45 km) from one end of the park to the other takes about an hour.

Hotels Near the Petrified Forest ... from TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor Reviews

Hotels and lodging in Holbrook, Arizona with traveler reviews

 

The beautiful colors of nature ... at Petrified Forest National Park (Staff Photo)
The beautiful colors ... at Petrified Forest National Park
Rim Trail view
Rim Trail view at the Petrified Forest National Park
Winding Blue Mesa Trail
The winding Blue Mesa Trail at Petrified Forest National Park

Map of the Park

Shown below is a map of Petrified Forest National Park, courtesy of the National Park Service.

click the image to enlarge

Map of Petrified Forest National Park ... click to enlarge

Map showing the location of the Petrified Forest National Park in relation to Holbrook
Map showing the location of the Petrified Forest National Park in relation to Holbrook


Scenes Around the Painted Desert

Adjacent to the Petrified Forest is the Painted Desert, through which Historic Route 66 passed through in earlier times.

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. A film about the park is shown continuously throughout the day. The visitors center is adjacent to a restaurant, gift shop, and gas station; restrooms are available.

Driving west on Route 66, in the heart of the Painted Desert, travelers saw a pink edifice glimmering in the clear air. After long hours of travel, here was a special place to take a break, stretch their legs, sip a cold drink, and admire the view.

Overlook at the Painted Desert in Arizona near old U.S. Route 66
Overlook at the Painted Desert in Arizona

Route 66 across 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"

Route 66 sign and marker in the Painted Desert in Arizona


The roadbed of Historic U.S. Route 66 along the telephone poles can still be seen as it passes through the Painted Desert near the 1932 Studebaker exhibit (Staff Photo)
The roadbed of Historic U.S. Route 66 can still be seen as it passes through the Painted Desert

More Stops Along Route 66 in Arizona

Route 66 road trip to Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 road trip to Winslow, Arizona Route 66 road trip to Flagstaff, Arizona Route 66 road trip to Williams, Arizona
Route 66 road trip to Seligman, Arizona Route 66 road trip to Kingman, Arizona Route 66 road trip to Oatman, Arizona

 

Arizona Route 66 Passport

The Official Arizona Route 66 Passport

The Arizona Route 66 Passport is your guide into the heart of America. Cruise along the Mother Road, collecting stamps at locations along the way. Each passport comes with a free Traveler's Guide.

It is published by the The Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, a non-profit organization, dedicated to the preservation, protection, and promotion of both the surface, and the memories along Arizona’s portion of Route 66. Proceeds from the sale of Passports benefit this cooperative marketing initiative.

Purchase an Arizona Route 66 Passport online or pick one up at one of the locations where stamps are given.

More information about the Arizona Route 66 Passport

 

Order the Arizona Route 66 Passport online

More Information about the Petrified Forest

Website of Petrified Forest National Park at NPS

Visit Arizona: Petrified Forest National Park

Holbrook Chamber of Commerce

Travel Texas: Route 66

Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona

Read more about Holbrook, Arizona, on Historic Route 66
Click to read more about
Route 66 in Holbrook