Have you ever just wanted to go somewhere that looks like its from another planet, whelp the Petrified National Forest Arizona is one of them! Prepare for a whole new array of colors. After spending a day there, here are some tips and things to do when exploring. Enjoy!
THINGS TO DO
Crystal Forest has petrified logs displayed beautifully along a short .75 mile loop. A very easily accessible trail for most. This Crystal Forest loop got its name from crystals being present inside the beautiful petrified logs. This trail is said to offer one of the best opportunities to experience the petrified wood deposits.
Please don’t take any of the petrified wood, if everyone took a piece there would be nothing left to admire in nature. Taking Petrified wood is also illegal. The park recommends Petrified Wood Rockhounding on DoBell Ranch, west of The Petrified Forest National Park Arizona.
Blue Mesa is a mixed terrain trail that has badland hills of bluish bentonite clay. The waving hillsides of Blue Mesa are so inviting. The textures seem so soft, yet crumble, a beautiful but delicate eco system.
This loop is about 1 mile long. The trail is a bit steep at the very beginning of the trail but levels out a bit after that. It’s said that many plant and animal fossils have been found by paleontologists in the sedimentary layers of Blue Mesa.
Giant Logs is another short looping trail of only about .4 of a mile long. It’s located right behind the Rainbow Forest Museum. Each log seems to have such different colors and textures throughout it.
Fun tip: If you shine a flashlight through the log, even more colors will poke through! Not many people know about this little tip, have fun!
Explore the Petrified National Park Rockshop
Stones, rocks, gems, and petrified wood comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes here. There was a beautiful amethyst piece wider than half my body in length. Seriously it’s massive!
PARK HOURS & FEES
The Petrified National Park Arizona is open year-round, except December 25th. Park hours are from 8 am till 5 pm Mountain Standard Time, they are pretty strict on their timing and will even tell you at the entrance.
The entrance to the park is $25 per vehicle, $20 per motorcycle, and $15 per bike or person.
$ Frugal Tip: National Parks also accept all the American The Beautiful Passes. These passes are only $80 and grant access to all the National Parks in the USA as well as all the National Wildlife Refugees. This is a great investment, you’d be paying over $80 for more than 5 National Parks without the pass. There is more information on the passes here.
PETRIFIED FOREST NATIONAL PARK ARIZONA WEATHER
The best time to go is when the sun is shining and able to bring out the bright colors in the petrified logs and the blues throughout the rolling hills. March through October is the best time to go to the park. These months have the least amount of precipitation and have a more comfortable temperature for most.
HOW TO GET TO THE PETRIFIED FOREST NATIONAL PARK ARIZONA
The Petrified National Park is located on the very east side of Arizona State. It’s about three and a half hours northeast, or about 200 miles, from Central Phoenix. From the Grand Canyon to the Petrified Forest It’s about 295 miles southeast from the Grand Canyon National Park
Conveniently enough it’s located on Route 66 which is a popular Road Tripping Highway with lots of other amazing stops along the way as well. There are two ways to enter the park itself, driving through and doing a loop makes for an even better road trip!