The Petrified Forest National Park protects one of Arizona's most famous landscapes. Located about a four hour drive outside of Phoenix there is plenty of amazing natural features to be appreciated here. There is also a great deal of human history here, 13,000 years of it in fact, dating back to the first peoples who settled here. Anyone with the slightest appreciation for nature should love a visit to this spectacular part of the country.
Things to Do
- The Park offers designated trails which vary in length from half a mile to three miles and appeal to all levels of walkers. You can find out about many of these trails here. More adventurous walkers will want to try out the off the beaten path hikes which take you deep into the park to some truly magnificent landscapes. You can see more about these tougher hikes here.
- If you would like to go camping in the National Park then you first need to pick up a free permit to do so from the Painted Desert Visitors Center or from the Rainbow Forest Museum. Once you are inside please be respectful of the area as the park tries to maintain a policy of low impact camping to best preserve the park's natural beauty. Due to that camping groups are limited to 8 people.
- Photo enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities for breathtaking shots looking out over this one of a kind landscape. Photos of the area are particularly impressive when taken around dusk as it creates a wonderful light from the setting sun.
Petrified Forest Insider Tips
- You can check out the park map here.