Welcome to Petrified Forest National Park, a prehistoric wonderland where families can step back in time and discover the remnants of an ancient world. With its vibrant petrified wood, colorful badlands, and rich archaeological sites, Petrified Forest offers families a unique opportunity to connect with the Earth’s distant past. Here are eight points of interest to see in Petrified Forest National Park:

The Painted Desert: Begin your journey in the Painted Desert, a mesmerizing landscape of colorful badlands and eroded rock formations. Take a scenic drive along the park’s main road to witness the ever-changing hues of the desert landscape, especially during sunrise and sunset.

The Petrified Forest: Explore the Petrified Forest, home to one of the largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood in the world. Follow the trails through ancient forests of petrified logs, some of which are over 200 million years old.

Blue Mesa: Discover Blue Mesa, a unique geological formation characterized by its blue and purple banded hills. Take a hike along the Blue Mesa Trail to explore the colorful badlands up close and learn about the ancient processes that shaped the landscape.

Crystal Forest: Wander through Crystal Forest, a magical landscape filled with sparkling petrified wood. Follow the loop trail through the forest to admire the vibrant colors and intricate patterns of the petrified logs, which shimmer like crystals in the sunlight.

Agate House: Visit Agate House, an ancient Puebloan structure built entirely of petrified wood. Learn about the daily lives of the indigenous people who once inhabited this area and marvel at their ingenuity in using petrified wood as a building material.

The Tepees: Marvel at the towering formations known as the Tepees, which rise like giant spires from the desert floor. Take in the panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and imagine the forces of erosion that sculpted these unique rock formations.

The Painted Desert Inn: Step back in time at the Painted Desert Inn, a historic landmark that once served as a roadside inn and museum. Explore the exhibits and learn about the history of the area, including its significance as a stop along Route 66.

Junior Ranger Program: Engage the whole family in Petrified Forest’s Junior Ranger Program, where kids can learn about geology, paleontology, and desert ecology through fun and interactive activities. Upon completion, they’ll receive a badge and a sense of pride in protecting this unique natural treasure.

With its vibrant landscapes, ancient fossils, and opportunities for adventure and exploration, Petrified Forest National Park offers families a chance to connect with the Earth’s distant past and create memories that will last a lifetime. Pack your sense of wonder, hiking boots, and camera, and prepare for an unforgettable journey through time in the heart of the American Southwest.


Petrified Forest National Park was once a vast floodplain and tall, noble conifer trees grew along the banks. The trees eventually fell and were washed into the floodplain. A mix of silt, mud, and volcanic ash buried the logs. This sediment cut off oxygen and eventually the silica-laden groundwater seeped through the logs. Eventually the silica crystallized into quartz, and the logs were preserved as petrified wood….

Canceled July 28, 2012