Visiting Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Wood - Petrified Forest National Park in ArizonaWhat I love about the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona is the colorful array of petrified wood. You’ll see reds, yellows, purples and more as you walk the trails and enjoy these colorful giants. The park has one of the best collections of huge colorful petrified logs in the world!

What truly amazed me was that the park was once a lush forest with small invertebrates to dinosaurs living there. Scientists are still working the area and finding fossils. When you see the grassy, high-desert plains of the Petrified Forest, it will be hard to imagine that it was once a forest.

This area is also Route 66 country.  Petrified Forest National Park is the only park in the National Park System containing a section of Historic Route 66.

When to Visit the Petrified Forest
If you plan to walk the trails and see the beautiful logs and amazing vistas, you’ll want to visit in good weather. Right now the park is on winter hours of operation: 8 am to 5 pm Mountain Standard Time, but there will be a change in park hours and program times on February 27. Please check here for more information

Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark (a museum and bookstore only) is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. MST year-round.

I visited one sunny October day when I was on my way to the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque. We spent the night in Holbrook which is the gateway to this expansive park.

Tips for Visiting the Petrified Forest National Park
– The Park is large and very open to the elements. Check the weather before going.Petrified Wood - Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona
– Wear walking shoes as you’ll love exploring the rocky trails
– Never think you can pick up a piece of petrified wood. It is not only against the law, it may bring you bad luck!- Plan to spend most of the day. You’ll want to start at the south end, spend time at the Visitors Center, drive through the park, stopping to enjoy the trails and end with views of the beautiful Painted Desert.
– Since you can’t do any souvenir hunting in the Park, I recommend shopping at Jim Gray’s in Holbrook. Be sure and choose a piece of Arizona petrified wood.

More Information
Park Website
Places to Stay in Holbrook
Holbrook Tourism

Photo Credit: Elizabeth R. Rose