Painted Desert Inn, Petrified Forest National Park

4.6
#5 of 12 in Things to do in Petrified Forest National Park
Painted Desert Inn is located in Petrified Forest National Park. Put Painted Desert Inn and other Petrified Forest National Park attractions into our Petrified Forest National Park trip planning tool , and watch your holiday take shape.
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Painted Desert Inn Reviews
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117 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • October 4, 2017
    This beautiful building, which is on the National Register of historic Places, is being lovingly restored, and has some great exhibits about its rich history. We encountered a personable volunteer who...  more »
  • September 28, 2017
    This icon is truly unique. A real must stop and observe. I was quietly walking back to my bus when a large brown and cream snake slithered across in front of me along the path. It made my day and mana...  more »
  • September 25, 2017
    We stopped in to see this old inn. Very cool place to walk through. There was a very sweet lady park ranger there, who was so informative. It is a must see, if in this part of the country. Beautiful o...  more »
Google
  • November 4, 2016
    The Painted Desert Inn is one of the remaining Harvey House hotels that were located along the Santa Fe Railroad during the Golden Age of rail travel. Today, it is open for visitors to see and has a small gift store. It is no longer possible to stay in the inn but visitors are welcome to wander the open areas of the inn. Of particular note are the glass ceiling above the main staircase and the carvings on the backs of the stools at the old coffee shop. Taking a ranger guided tour is recommended as they will take you down to the small rooms that the Harvey Girl staff members stayed in while they worked here. The Inn also provides the only trailhead down into the Painted Desert. The trail is steep as it switchbacks off the top of the bluff the Inn is on. Once down the slope, the trail follows a dry wash until it comes out into the open desert. Back country hiking is possible but should not be undertaken unless you are experienced with overland navigation as the trail is not well marked and eventually completely disappears. Also keep in mind this is the desert so bring an adequate supply of water. Hikers should be aware of weather conditions as flash floods can occur in this area, even when there is no rain in the immediate vicinity. Water and restrooms are available here. If you are just entering the Park, this will be your last place to get water until you reach the Rainbow Forest visitor center 25 miles (40 km) to the south. The next restroom is 9 miles (14 km) away at the Puerco Pueblo so plan accordingly. The parking includes parking for RVs and buses.
  • February 15, 2017
    Not much to this place. Mainly just an empty building with a couple of displays and a docent.
  • October 29, 2016
    Great view of the Painted Desert to cap off a visit to the Petrified Forest.
  • August 29, 2016
    Beautiful view and the park Rangers were super informative and helpful!
  • October 31, 2016
    Awesome views, neat building.

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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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