Our final stop on our National Park road trip was Petrified Forest National Park. We spent a few hours driving from the south end of the park to the north, jumping out and snapping photos along the way. Here are some of the things we learned and where you can grab some epic photos.
About Petrified Forest
Beautiful mountains of petrified wood are the cornerstone for the Petrified Forest. Unlike the other parks we visited, the gates and road at Petrified Forest open and close daily. During the summer the park is open 7:00 am-7:30 pm, but that is plenty of time to enjoy the forest.
Where to stay
There are no campsites or lodging inside the park, however you can backcountry camp with a free permit. You can also stay at one of the private campgrounds. Click here to read and get more information about backcountry camping.
What to do
Drive the park/hike
We found the easiest way to get around and see everything is to drive the 28 miles from one end of the park to the other. Not only is the drive gorgeous, but there are plenty of parking lots and pullouts for you to stop and explore. Most of the sites are just off the road, but a couple of them require a short drive or hike.
The Rainbow Forest is closest to the south entrance and contains the Giant Logs. The whole walking trail is a .4 mile loop.
Jasper Forest has some of the best views in the park.
Blue Mesa and Blue Forest 3.5 mile loop drive off road
The Painted Desert is north of highway 40 and has a variety of overlooks to give you views of the beautiful painted mountains.
Check out our other stops on our Van Life road trip, Big Bend National Park, Marfa, Texas, Joshua Tree National Park, Los Angeles, Yosemite National Park, and King’s Canyon + Sequoia National Park, and Grand Canyon National Park.
Have you been to the Petrified Forest? Will you visit? Leave me a comment below!