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
1 mile round trip
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.
0.3 mile loop
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.
1 mile loop, moderately strenuous
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.
0.75 mile loop
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.
1.6 mile loop
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.
2 miles round trip
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.
0.4 mile loop
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.