Petrified Forest National Park in Eastern Arizona

By Staff ,

Petrified logs on the Crystal Forest Loop

Gloria Wadzinski

Home to fossils older than 200 million years, and some of the largest and most beautiful concentrations of petrified wood, "painted desert" badlands, archeological sites and historic structures, Petrified Forest National Park is a very unique national park. For visitors who are interested in seeing an ancient landscape, it's worth the 3-hour drive from Grand Canyon National Park.

To tour the park by car, it will take about 45 minutes. Plan at least an hour to adequately take in the sights of the ancient forests and sites.

The Painted Desert

Dollar Photo

If possible, stop at the Painted Desert Visitor Center. Also plan on taking in the sights at Kachina Point. Drive the Blue Mesa Road and stop at the Rainbow Forest Museum.

If you have more time and want to experience this unique park at a deeper level, walk the Giant Logs Trail, the Puerco Pueblo Trail and spend a little time at the Painted Desert Inn Museum.

Stunning striped purple sandstone formations of Blue Mesa

Jim Mangum

Getting to Petrified Forest National Park from the Grand Canyon

3-hour drive

To get to this national park, from Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim, take Hwy. 180 to Flagstaff, then travel I-40 east through Winslow to Exit 303 to Adamana Road.