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Petrified Forest National Park

The 200-million-year-old trees and breathtaking views combine with colorful wildflowers and exciting hikes for a fantastic park experience.

The ancient trees of Petrified Forest National Park turned to quartz over many years as minerals from volcanic ash and silica replaced plant material. Once a forest, the area is now a semi-arid grassland. View beautiful desert flowers, shrubs and striking landscapes which perfectly complement the forest of fossilized logs.

The quickest way to reach petrified wood is by hiking Giant Logs loop. Follow the easy 0.4-mile (0.6-kilometer) walk along a paved trail to some of the park’s largest and most colorful petrified logs. Along the trail, notice the petrified log “Old Faithful,” which is almost 10 feet (3 meters) wide.

While most of the petrified wood is spread throughout the park’s southern half, the northern half is known for the colorful hills of the Painted Desert. To fully experience the beauty of the desert, hike the 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) round-trip Painted Desert Rim Trail.

Enjoy the scenery from the comfort of your car by driving the 28-mile (45-kilometer) park road. Overlooks such as Kachina Point offer stunning views of the colors of the Painted Desert. Forgoing a hike doesn’t mean you’ll miss seeing petrified wood. Just a few steps from the Agate Bridge parking lot is a large petrified log lying across a small ravine. Allow a minimum of 1.5 hours to drive through the park with stops at various attractions.

The park is open year-round but most popular during the summer. Colorful wildflowers light up the desert from March through October, depending on the level of rainfall. On crisp winter days, visibility across the desert can reach 100 miles (160 kilometers). Check for trail openings during winter.

Petrified Forest National Park is located in eastern Arizona, less than a 2-hour drive east of Flagstaff along historic Route 66. Park entrance has a fee. Note that petrified wood cannot be taken from the preserved park, but small pieces from elsewhere in the state are available for purchase.

U.S. national parks offer affordable access to some of the country’s tallest mountains and oldest geologic formations. Enjoy your visit to the colorful desert and ancient trees of Petrified Forest National Park.


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Best Lodging Options Near Petrified Forest National Park

See all 25 Properties near Petrified Forest National Park
Remote Cabin in the Petrified Forest Wilderness
Remote Cabin in the Petrified Forest Wilderness

Remote Cabin in the Petrified Forest Wilderness

Holbrook, AZ
     
    0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in a rural location, this cabin is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Painted Desert and 11.6 mi (18.6 km) from Petrified Forest National Park. Tawa Point and Kachina Point are also within 16 mi (25 km).

    Lexington Inn Holbrook $69
    Lexington Inn Holbrook

    Lexington Inn Holbrook

    1308 Navajo Blvd, Holbrook, AZ
       
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in a rural location, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Painted Desert and Navajo County Historical Society Museum. Northland Pioneer College is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) away.

      Motel 6 Holbrook $39
      Motel 6 Holbrook

      Motel 6 Holbrook

      2514 Navajo Blvd, Holbrook, AZ
         
        2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Holbrook, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of Painted Desert and Northland Pioneer College. Navajo County Historical Society Museum is 2.5 mi (4.1 km) away.

        Best Western Arizonian Inn $60
        Best Western Arizonian Inn

        Best Western Arizonian Inn

        2508 Navajo Blvd, Holbrook, AZ
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Holbrook, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Painted Desert and Northland Pioneer College. Navajo County Historical Society Museum is 2.5 mi (4 km) away.

          Days Inn by Wyndham Holbrook $61
          Days Inn by Wyndham Holbrook

          Days Inn by Wyndham Holbrook

          2601 Navajo Blvd, Holbrook, AZ
             
            2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in a national park, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Northland Pioneer College and 2.6 mi (4.3 km) from Navajo County Historical Society Museum. Navajo County Government Complex and Hidden Cove Golf Course are also within 9 mi (15 km).

            Howard Johnson by Wyndham Holbrook $57
            Howard Johnson by Wyndham Holbrook

            Howard Johnson by Wyndham Holbrook

            2608 Navajo Blvd, Holbrook, AZ
               
              2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in the heart of Holbrook, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Painted Desert and Northland Pioneer College. Navajo County Historical Society Museum is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) away.

              Days Inn by Wyndham Chambers Near the Petrified Forest East $59
              Days Inn by Wyndham Chambers Near the Petrified Forest East

              Days Inn by Wyndham Chambers Near the Petrified Forest East

              Interstate 40 and Hwy 191, Exit 333, PO Box 39, Chambers, AZ
                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in a national park, this motel is 10.5 mi (16.9 km) from Painted Desert and within 25 mi (40 km) of Petrified Forest National Park and Tawa Point. Kachina Point and Chinde Point are also within 32 mi (52 km).

                Travelodge by Wyndham Holbrook $62
                Travelodge by Wyndham Holbrook

                Travelodge by Wyndham Holbrook

                2418 East Navajo Blvd, Holbrook, AZ
                   
                  2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Holbrook, this motel is within a 5-minute walk of Painted Desert and Northland Pioneer College. Navajo County Historical Society Museum is 2.4 mi (3.8 km) away.