Painted Desert, Petrified Forest National Park

4.8
#1 of 12 in Things to do in Petrified Forest National Park
Like a striking canvas, the Painted Desert builds layer upon layer of color on hills made of siltstone, mudstone, and shale. The resulting view highlights the region's name, alternating oranges, white, reds, and pinks. This badlands area was formed of volcanic rock and limestone revealed by erosion over the years. Drive through the region along a paved road that stretches over plateaus on Navajo land with many lookout points. Put Painted Desert and other Petrified Forest National Park attractions into our Petrified Forest National Park tour planner, and watch your holiday take shape.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
2,144 reviews
Google
5.0
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    Amazing views of changing rock formations and colours. Well worth the drive stopping at the vantage points  more »
  • August 12, 2017
    Silicification of wood is still not found, a grand scale desert buddy enjoy geological changes. Trail is maintained and can be slow and crowded. I'd be in position access from the highway to the National Park, in the first place.
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  • August 10, 2017
    We had a wonderful visit to the Painted Desert. The park was absolutely beautiful to drive through, with occasional well-marked and well-maintained trails which we took advantage of. It felt like we w...  more »
Google
  • May 9, 2017
    A beautiful trip. Worth the drive from wherever you are coming from. The colors at sunset are amazing, like a real life painting.
  • July 25, 2016
    The rangers were very pleasant and helpful with the kids. Junior Ranger badges and patches along with the packets. Store prices seem much more reasonable than Grand Canyon NP. Video is worth the watch and the drive is at least an hour but completely worth it. Southern stop of the loop includes dinosaurs.
  • August 3, 2016
    Nestled near the Petrified Forest National Park the Painted Desert has a number of breath taking vistas that don't require a hike. Although, if hiking is your thing, trails and badlands weave through this Arizona gem. Don't forget to stop by the gift shop for some beautiful native art and colorful mementos before finding your favorite spot to watch the sun set.
  • March 28, 2016
    Very pretty place! I wasn't expecting to see as many good views as we did. Definitely worth the little detour it took to get us here on our cross country road trip. Try to go during "Golden Hour" to get the best photos and you won't regret the small detour!
  • August 3, 2016
    Beautiful sight everyone should see. Absolutely breathtaking. God's handiwork at his best. Amazing.

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Where to stay in Petrified Forest National Park

Since most visitors drive through Petrified Forest National Park, you won't find any developed accommodations inside the park. If you're not prepared to camp in the backcountry, pitch a tent at one of the campgrounds near the highway or bunk down in one of the travelers' motels in Holbrook, which lies about 32 km (20 mi) west of the park.
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