Explore the most popular kid friendly trails in Petrified Forest National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful landscape, enjoyed that it was driving and well as some hiking sightseeing.

Very cool place, give yourself plenty of time. We could only do half the park, going southwest to northeast. The park does close at night and if you think you can steal any wood, good luck, they have search stations at the gates.

This trail features the classic petrified wood you see in most pictures. Very beautiful and awesome!

2 months ago

Absolutely love this park. It’s mostly just drive, stop, look at something amazing and go back to your car. At the most a 1.5 miles hike on pavement. Easy for all levels. Stunning colors, amazing photo ops.

The parking is sufficient.

The views from the trail are stunning! Wind was an issue today but the spring temps were grand.

Much of the path is handicap accessible and all is suitable for strollers.

Wow!

March 2018 with Michael

hiking
2 months ago

We did the Park Ranger tour with Matt and Dorinda who were super special! They told us how the wood petrified and pointed out such amazing facts. I would recommend taking the parks feee tours. Easy to walk. What an amazing gorgeous hike!

Nice walk for all skill levels. Lots of petrified wood

Wonderful hike! So worth it, you must go around it to see the petroglyphs.

The hike was super beautiful and peaceful. Easy trail as well, the Agate house honestly was not as cool as what I expected being that it is a reconstructed version to show you what it originally was. But still definitely a must see if you visit the park!

hiking
3 months ago

We decided to make our own adventure and climbed down the bluff and explored the beautiful gems God has created!

scenic driving
3 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous!! So many things to see and so breath taking!

hiking
3 months ago

Very easy but interesting, just likt the giant losg trail near the visitor center.

hiking
3 months ago

Near the visitor center. You can see many petrified woods here.

4 months ago

Amazingly beautiful I didn’t think the colors would be so vivid

scenic driving
4 months ago

Our group enjoyed this park a lot! Along the scenic drives there are many opportunities to hike around some and get close to the petrified wood.

Amazing. This was my “ahh” moment in the park.

I led a group of Girl Scouts on this trail, starting at the Tawa Trail. It was great, just hot because of the lack of shade. Very easy, slight incline--just bring water!

Easy, paved trail. Cool petrified logs along the way and some pretty desert scenery in the distance. Other than that, pretty boring.

hiking
Monday, May 15, 2017

The old (eroded road) meets the extremely old (petrified forest). The extremely old is winning. Very nice and easy hike, you will see a very large amount of petrified wood.

hiking
Monday, May 15, 2017

Short, easy off trail hike recommended by the National Park Service. You will pick up Martha's Butte fairly quickly in the hike, so it is not difficult to find. Suggest that you go around Martha's Butte for more petroglyphs and views. Note: No shade.

hiking
Sunday, May 14, 2017

GIANT

So cool looking everywhere

Monday, April 03, 2017

Unexpected beauty. You cannot beat these views. Definitely worth your time.

scenic driving
Friday, March 24, 2017

We drove the straight wide-open Interstate 40 east to Holbrook (you could smell the AZ forest fires off to the south even though you could not see them) and then 20 miles on Hwy 180 south to the southern entrance of Petrified Forest National Park, which is also connected to the Painted Desert and the Badlands along the 27 mile drive. Entering the park we drove past a giant gift store selling petrified wood and then got a picture at the park entrance sign. The park is a wide-open expanse of desert and steppe-like terrain. At the Rainbow Forest Museum and Visitor’s Center were many displays on the formation of petrified wood, fossilized bones and teeth of ancient animals, and a display of redemptive letters from people who stole wood from the park and later regretted it (it is bad luck). Because an estimated 25,000 pounds of petrified wood are stolen from the park every year, the NPS has adopted a zero-tolerance policy for visitors who remove even the smallest pieces.
Violators are subject to fines starting at $275 (it might be more now). If rangers suspect you of removing any wood or other resources, they may detain you and search your car. We were asked if we had removed anything as we departed the park, but were not checked (and we didn’t take any wood). Just outside the museum is the Giant Logs self-guided trail, an easy .4mi. stroll showing logs like Old Faithful (almost 10 feet long, 5 feet in diameter and 44 tons!)
Almost directly across the parking lot from the museum is another hike, the Long Logs trail, 0.6 mi. RT and has the largest concentration of wood in the park. This relatively flat, paved loop gives an idea of the immensity of the Araucarioxylon trees that grew in this area during the Triassic Period. Many of the longest logs, including one that measures 116 feet, lie alongside the trail on the north end of the loop. The different colored layers are caused by mineral deposits in the clay. Another hike, 1.5 mi. RT to 8-room Agate House, leads you to the ruins of a pueblo built from colorful agate, petrified wood; a pueblo that archaeologists believe was briefly occupied around a.d. 1100. Colorful bits of petrified wood dot the ground on the way to the pueblo, which sits atop a knoll overlooking a vast expanse of desert. Made from petrified wood and mortar, Agate House must have been one of the prettiest dwellings anywhere. We saw the unusual formations known as The Flattops, caused by the erosion of softer mineral deposits from beneath a harder and more erosion-resistant layer of sandstone. We walked the .75 mile Crystal Forest path, named for the beautiful amethyst and quartz crystals once found in the cracks of petrified logs. We also stopped at the Agate Bridge and saw a petrified log that forms a natural agate bridge. We drove by Jasper Forest Overlook, with logs having petrified roots, and descended the Blue Mesa to the floor beneath - some of the prettiest land in the park. The hillsides are streaked and blend where the clay has washed into drainages.
We next drove by the very interesting Teepees, eroded triangular sandstone and clay formations that look like sand paintings, colored by manganese, iron and other minerals in the soil. We skipped by Newspaper Rock, a dense concentration of petroglyphs left by generations of Native Americans, and also the nearby 100-room Puerco Pueblo, the park's largest archaeological site, containing the remains of homes built by the people who created the park's petroglyphs (This pueblo was probably built sometime around 1400 and has many petroglyphs on the backside). North of Puerco Pueblo, we crossed I-40 and entered the Painted Desert, named for vivid colors created by minerals dissolved in sandstone and clay soils that were deposited during different geologic periods. At Kachina Point, we ate peanut butter sandwiches and visited the Painted Desert Inn, a historic building that's currently being restored. The inn, built in 1924, is where you'll usually see Native American craftspeople giving demonstrations (we didn’t see any, but it was a nice gift store). The Painted Desert Rim Trail meanders along the Painted Desert rim between Kachina and Tawa points, with stunning views of the desert, where gray, pink, and red badlands stand out against the green grasses at their bases and a more interesting route leads down into the Painted Desert from behind the Painted Desert Inn, the Painted Desert Wilderness Trail, about 0.5 mi. one-way. After a brief visit at the PD VC, we got back on I-40 and headed east to Chambers and took a left on Hwy 191 north to Canyon de Chelley at Chinle.

walking
Friday, March 24, 2017

The .75 mile Crystal Forest path is named for the beautiful amethyst and quartz crystals once found in the cracks of petrified logs. Several of the logs had clear embedded veins of quartz. In fact, concern over the removal of these crystals was what led to the protection of the Petrified Forest. It's hard not to wonder what this area looked like before the scavengers arrived. Worth a stop.

walking
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Great trail for all ages and a huge assortment of petrified wood! We really enjoyed it.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

This is less of a trail and more of an easy walk. I didn't try it, but I bet this path could be easily navigated by people using walkers and canes. The petrified wood is quite interesting and plentiful in this area but the view of the overall landscape isn't that impressive. This is a nice first stop in the park.

walking
Friday, February 03, 2017

Beautiful history and scenery, boring & easy trail.

walking
Friday, February 03, 2017

Easy stroll on a paved trail, if you're more adventurous go out into the wilderness areas of the park. Much better.

Load More