Explore the most popular Walking 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.

hiking
no shade
washed out
5 days ago

No signs/trail but it was easy and enjoyable. Did in March.

Follow the wash northwest and you will see the butte eventually.

Website says 1 mile but that’s one way.

Saw three petroglyphs pretty clearly.

hiking
8 days ago

Windier here than at Blue Mesa Trail, but I didn't care. Seeing the different kinds of petrified wood pieces was quite the sight. So many distinct colors and patterns. A casual 30 minute loop that I recommend.

hiking
8 days ago

Windy day in the low 40s in Petrified Forest. The loop took me 30 minutes while stopping for many pictures. Beautiful views in every direction as the trail leads down to a valley with clay formations surrounding you.

hiking
10 days ago

Plus: spots with boat loads of petrified wood. Beautiful colors in the initial descent. The “bridge” was quite long.

Pitfalls: hard to find your way because there is no trail. The map here was not accurate. Be sure to visit the Inn at the top and go through their guidebook. The badlands are seemingly endless. This place would be scary during a flash flood. There had been lots of moisture recently and the dirt was very soft. This would be too difficult if muddy. Not the type of hike I typically like to do.

The bridge was cool, but it’s not like the bridge that is on the south side of the park, which clears the ground by quite a bit. This one clears a wash by just a couple inches. A waterfall flows a few feet beyond during a flash flood.

hiking
off trail
12 days ago

This is by far the best way to see the park! Be prepared to way-find. Stop by the ranger at the Inn for some navigation tips and a visual way finding guide. Don’t rely on GPS alone! Half the steps you see on the ground are lost people... We lucked out and made it straight to the bridge. Please be responsible and respectful of this beautiful place.

hiking
16 days ago

We hiked this trail on 3/4/19. Great views and quite cool to be down among the rock features. The trail is steep at the beginning but is entirely paved. Definitely would recommend for any visitors of Petrified Forest.

hiking
muddy
18 days ago

Great hike with incredible views as a pay off! It was pretty muddy from a recent snow that was still melting but only bad in a few places. I would definitely recommend this trail but be warned the last part is a climb straight up!

hiking
18 days ago

The AllTrails route loosely follows a few washes, but you can pretty much go whichever way you want to reach the Onyx Bridge. Drop a pin where the bridge is before setting out.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy loop with beautiful view of the badlands!

This is an interesting and educational hike if you have never seen the Petrified Forest before. You might only be disappointed if you are hoping to see a forest, as all of trees have fallen! This is more of a "drive a while - get out and hike a while" hike. You can drive through the park and get out and hike a few feet or hike a mile or two at a time if you. All trails are either paved or clearly marked.

Every geologist, history nut, or Arizona enthusiast should visit this park.

Driving non-stop, through the park, takes 45 minutes. The average length of stay is 2 hours but you could stay all day and not get bored.

Don't take any wood as souvenirs, though. It is against the law - plus, letters from those who did are posted in the visitor center with tales of all the bad luck they had afterward!

Got to http://www.nps.gov/pefo/pphtml/activities.html for more info.

The park is open year round except Christmas - December 25. Park hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours during the summer.

hiking
2 months ago

Make sure to climb down from the rim trail and experience the red badlands behind the inn. One of the quietest places I have ever been.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful example of desert badlands- very distinctive blue gray color and plenty of petrified wood uncovered.

This was the last trail we did in Petrified Forest and while the size of the logs was impressive, the colors were nothing like Jasper Forest.

Petroglyphs are amazing. Easy walk.

Fabulous, a must do at Petrified National Park!!! Short but absolutely stunning and unique views — the colors are gorgeous, and the ancient earth energy is amazing. Thank you Mama Earth ✨

hiking
3 months ago

3 permits each week. 'Week' starts on Wednesday. Permit is good for your carload of people, whether 1 or 5. Permits are in place due to negotiated agreement with private landowners who land you will be crossing to get to the Devil's Playground.

Please honor the permit system; don't use this as a free pass to find the trail and poach it.

Great hike - the paper directions the park service gives do match up pretty well with this route. They're a little vague, and this might be a good supplement to find the large wash and bush that the directions will mention.

Great hike - use the recording around the playground as a guide, but explore at will. I got to the park office around 11:30am and gave myself about 5 hours including the hike in, hike out, and exploring. I wasn't expecting to get a permit, but I did on a Friday in November. It was good, but another 2 hours would have been good. An overnight would have been great to take in the silence and desolation if my schedule had allowed.

As a tip: You'll be following markers on a back country 'trail' - i.e., not really a trail. You CAN see the next marker from every marker as of mid-November 2018. They can be difficult to spot, as they blend in with the scenery pretty well. Kneeling so that they stand out above the brush really helps out - they contrast better with the sky.

Good luck, have fun, and please respect the rules and get a permit!!!

Great little trail... and nice, scenic drive to get there.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice lil trek. Super easy and the vastness of your view from horizon to horizon just really reminds you of how small we are on the planet. I liked the sound of only the wind in my ears.

hiking
4 months ago

I liked this trail. Even my mother hiked it with me. Great little loop and the blue hues of the mesa were fun to take pics of and edit the color later on my camera.

on Blue Mesa Trail

5 months ago

beaitiful colors in the rock. well worth it!!

5 months ago

very unique hike. loved the landscape with all the petrified trees.

hiking
5 months ago

I’m giving this trail 4 stars because it doesn’t take you to the Onyx Bridge or the Black Forest, but just around the washout.

Otherwise, this trail is a great way to see the Petrified Forest! There isn’t a trail after you get out into the open, so we were just wandering around by ourselves. We started at the same time two campers started, but we were only on the same path for about ten minutes. You can see the building you park at/hike down from the entire time, so you can’t really get lost. Once we pulled up AllTrails, we realized we were supposed to follow the washout around. We only did that side of the trail, looked around for Onyx Bridge for a few minutes (didn’t find it), then got back on the “trail” and walked past the washout into the Black Forest. We saw two tarantulas, so keep your eyes open.

I definitely would not rate this trail as hard. The hardest part was the climb back up to the parking lot because it is straight up. Everything else is flat and easy and open. We explored for about 4 hours, and when we were done, took a straight shot back toward the building.

Great short hike around the petrified logs.

walking
6 months ago

9/7/18, P.M.
Did whole trail; no chance to record.
Easy walk, viewing the site.
Some wise steps, except for one, inclines are not steep (and even then, it wasn’t really steep, just in comparison to the rest of the trail).
Incredible to think how many millions of years those logs have been around!
I recommend for all levels.

walking
6 months ago

9/7/18, P.M.
Didn’t do whole trail, pressed for time (needed to get to other end before 6pm).
Was a quick peek. But, the very little done was nice; nice view and super easy.

I didn't finish the hike, but this is more of a tip than review from what I experienced. As others have recommended, be sure to bring a GPS. I hiked solo and no one else was around me, didn't have any first aid gear and only had food and water. The paper guide that the visitor center gives for the trailhead is different than Alltrails. I was confused and spent a good half hour at the wrong trailhead and decided to follow the trail on here. I plan to do the hike again, but more prepared if I'm lucky to get a permit again.

hiking
7 months ago

Great short hike. Some steepness in the beginning. Highly recommend considering how short the hike is and for the views.

Great trail! It goes right through the middle of the Blue Mesa!!

Great trail!! Not hard at all, it makes you feel like you are on another planet!! The colors are phenomenal!!

walking
7 months ago

Great trail! A good chance to stretch your legs and see some cool scenery. There’s also a good amount of petrified wood scattered around the trail. Has a bit of a steep start and ending just FYI.

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