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17 Awe-Inspiring Petrified Forest Photos

17 Awe-Inspiring Petrified Forest Photos

To reach Petrified Forest National Park located in northeastern Arizona, drive east from Flagstaff through the city of Winslow, made famous by the song Take It Easy by the Eagles. After an hour of humming and singing you’ll reach the park where the beauty of the multi-hued yet desolate landscape will fill your senses. 

Photographers will be in heaven in this park. We really should have been here at first light but at least we caught the golden hour. You’re bound to leave with a card full of Petrified Forest photos.

Give yourself a solid day to hike and explore a landscape of colourful badlands filled with buttes, mesas and the remains of fossilized trees that were alive 200 million years ago. Along the 28 mile road that loops through the park there are 12 stops and from there at least a dozen hikes of varying difficulty.

Some hikes are on developed trails while others take you well into the wilderness where route finding skills are critical. All stops are worthwhile.

The heat can be wicked in this park so be sure to carry lots of water and wear a sunhat. Although food can be purchased at the Visitor Centre, I’d recommend stocking up with picnic supplies before you reach the park.

The 17 Petrified Forest photos you see below should give you a pretty good sense of why Petrified Forest National Park is worth a visit.

View from Kachina Point
View from Kachina Point
Red hills near the Painted Desert Inn
Red hills near the Painted Desert Inn
It's a parched land
It’s a parched land
Interesting erosion patterns
Interesting erosion patterns
The Painted Desert
The Painted Desert
Discover the beauty of Petrified Forest National Park in 17 Photos
Ancient petroglyphs at Puerco Pueblo – an archaeological site inhabited between 1250 – 1380 AD
Petrified logs strewn about in the Blue Mesa area
Petrified logs strewn about in the Blue Mesa area
The Blue Mesa area looks quite purple to me
The Blue Mesa area looks quite purple to me
Views of the Blue Forest
Views of the Blue Forest
Discover the beauty of Petrified Forest National Park in 17 Photos
Perfectly split logs in the Crystal Forest
Discover the beauty of Petrified Forest National Park in 17 Photos
Close-up of the inside of a log
It's a fascinating walk on the .75 mile trail through the Crystal Forest
It’s a fascinating walk on the .75 mile trail through the Crystal Forest
Discover the beauty of Petrified Forest National Park in 17 Photos
One of the most interesting places to get Petrified Forest photos is on the Long Logs hike near the southern boundary of the park
Catching the golden hour in the Long Logs area
Catching the golden hour in the Long Logs area
Discover the beauty of Petrified Forest National Park in 17 Photos
Remarkable colours in some of the petrified logs
Discover the Beauty of Petrified Forest National Park in 17 Photos
Petrified logs are scattered across the landscape on the Long Logs Trail
Discover the Beauty of Petrified Forest National Park in 17 Photos
Looking down Jim Camp Wash near the Rainbow Forest Museum

Getting to Petrified Forest National Park

The park is best explored as a loop – in either direction. The Painted Desert Visitor Centre is at the north end of the park while the Rainbow Forest Museum is at the southern entrance to the park.

The easiest way to get there is to take exit 311 off of Highway 40. You can then drive the 28 miles through the park and exit on Highway 180. Holbrook is 18 miles away to the west. From Winslow it’s about a 50 minute drive, from Flagstaff one hour and 40 minutes.

Petrified Forest National Park is open every day of the year but Christmas from 8 AM to 5 PM with longer hours in the summer. The entrance fee is $25. For more information visit the Petrified Forest National Park website.

Further reading on things to do in Arizona

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

Discover the Beauty of Petrified Forest National Park in 17 Photos

 

 

Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. THIS YEAR! Last year we got caught in a huge rainstorm (seriously) so didn’t get to see much. I’m thinking of trying to stay somewhere close and spending a couple days, but we’ll see. It looks so beautiful.

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