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 multi-hued badlands of the Chinle Formation known as the Painted Desert, historic structures, archeological sites and displays of 225 million-year-old fossils
Basic Information on Petrified Forest National Park
Operating Hours and Operating Seasons for Petrified Forest
Open year round except Christmas - December 25. Park hours are 8:00 a.m.
to 5 p.m., with extended hours during the summer.
Note: Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time.
How to Get to Petrified Forest National Park
Nearest Airport to Petrified Forest National Park - Nearby
airports are in Phoenix and Albuquerque
How to Drive to Petrified Forest National Park - Petrified
Forest stretches between Interstate 40 and U.S. Highway 180.
Visitors traveling west on Interstate 40 should exit at milepost 311, drive through
the park and connect with U.S. Highway 180 at the south end. Take U.S.
Highway 180 to Holbrook to continue west on Interstate 40. Eastbound visitors exit Interstate 40 at Holbrook and take U.S. Highway 180 to the park's south entrance. Drive north through the park to return to Interstate 40.
Weather & Climate
Summer days are generally hot with temperatures in the 90's and occasionally in the low 100's. Summer nights range in the 50's - 60's. Average winter daytime temperatures vary from the 40 to 50s with nighttime lows in the 20s and teens. Temperatures can dip below 0 degrees. Annual rainfall is 9 to 10 inches with 40% occurring as thunderstorms in the late summer. There is occasional snow in the winter. High winds can occur any time of year. Humidity is usually low.
Visitor Center is accessible
Camping at Petrified Forest National Park
Wilderness area backpacking only
No campgrounds or lodging are available in the park, but nearby communities offer full service accommodations. Overnight backpacking is available in the Painted Desert Wilderness. A free permit is required and can be obtained at the Painted Desert Visitor Center or Rainbow Forest Museum. Permits must be procured at least 1 hour before closing.
Activities and More Information for Petrified
Forest National Park
Park activities include the park film, museums, sightseeing, photography, walking, hiking and wilderness backpacking. A variety of ranger programs are given year round with an increased number during the summer. A program schedule is displayed at visitor contact areas. Note: The removal of petrified wood or other features of the park is prohibited by law. Gift shops sell petrified wood that comes from private land, outside the park. No petrified wood is removed legally from the park. Driving non-stop, through the park, takes 45 minutes.
The average length of stay is 2 hours but remaining all day is also common. The park is locked at night and visitors must be in their cars and driving towards an exit at closing time. With advanced notice the park has several programs for school groups. Call for additional information.
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