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Petrified Forest National Park Trails

The best way to enjoy and experience Petrified Forest National Park is on foot. Maintained trails range in length from less than a half-mile to almost three miles.

Stay on designated trails in developed hiking areas. Off-trail hiking damages the fragile grassland environment and disturbs wildlife habitat, creating unsightly social trails. Leaving the designated trail can also be hazardous for hikers due to loose rock and dangerous cliffs.

Pets must be kept on leash and are allowed on maintained trails. Pets are not permitted in the park buildings or in Wilderness Areas.

If you are interested in hiking in the Wilderness Area, where there are no trails, as a day hike or on an overnight backpacking trip, go to the Backcountry page for more information.

  • Mile markers begin at the park's northern entrance off Interstate 40, Exit 311.

Painted Desert Rim Trail

Length:

1 mile round trip

Trailhead:

Tawa Point and Kachina Point *Kachina Point is currently closed due to a rehabilitation project at Painted Desert Inn.

This trail winds through the rim woodland, a place for chance encounters of many species of plants and animals. The view of the Painted Desert is spectacular. Please do not harm animals or plants in the park.

Puerco Pueblo

Length:

0.3 mile loop

Trailhead:

Mile Marker 11

Walk amidst the remains of a hundred room pueblo, occupied by the ancestral Puebloan people between 1200 and 700 years ago. Petroglyphs are one of the mysteries left behind by these ancient people. Do not climb on the boulders or walls. Please do not touch the petroglyphs.

Blue Mesa

Length:

1 mile loop, moderately strenuous

Trailhead:

Blue Mesa Sun Shelter

Descending from the mesa, this trail loops among badland hills of bluish bentonite clay and petrified wood. Plant fossils, including delicate ferns, have been found in the sedimentary layers of Blue Mesa. Please leave petrified wood and other fossils for all to enjoy.

Crystal Forest

Length:

0.75 mile loop

Trailhead:

South of Mile Marker 20

Despite more than a century of collecting, a few beautiful crystals hide in the colorful petrified logs at Crystal Forest. Please leave them for others to enjoy. Report anyone removing petrified wood, or any other materials, from the park.

  • Long Logs and Agate House Trails can be combined for a total of 2.6 miles round trip. See below for individual trail descriptions.

Long Logs

Length:

1.6 mile loop

Trailhead:

Rainbow Forest Parking Area

Long Logs is one of the largest concentrations of petrified wood in the park. Explore this ancient log jam at the base of gray badlands. Please leave petrified wood for others to enjoy. Report anyone removing petrified wood, or any other materials, from the park.

Agate House

Length:

2 miles round trip

Trailhead:

Rainbow Forest parking area

Archeologists believe that this small pueblo was occupied for a short time about 700 years ago. Seasonal farmers or traders possibly built Agate House as a temporary home. Please leave all archeological artifacts for all to enjoy. Do not sit on fragile walls.

Giant Logs

Length:

0.4 mile loop

Location:

Behind Rainbow Forest Museum

  • Trail guide available inside Rainbow Forest Museum.

Giant Logs features some of the largest and most colorful logs in the park. Old Faithful, at the top of the trail, is almost ten feet across the base.