Ermak Travel Guide

 

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Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park

 

 

Location: Adamana, AZ  Map

Area: 93,533 acres (37,851 ha)

Official site

Tel. (928) 524- 6228

Open: 8am- 5pm daily

Closed: Dec 25th

Rainbow Forest Museum

Tel. (928) 524- 6822

Open: 8am- 5pm daily

 

 

 

Description of Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park that is located just off the I- 40 highway contains remains of the ancient forest that was destroyed millions of years ago. Petrified Forest National Park protects a large area of fossils of the destroyed forest. Petrified trunks of trees are left on the surface of the desert under the open sky. It was formed by a mere accident. Apparently flash flood washed massive trees downstream into a swampy area that greatly reduced decomposition of the organic matter allowing gradual formation of fossils. Thus hundreds and even thousands of ancient trees were left in the area of Petrified Forest National Park.

 

Painted Desert runs along Petrified Forest National Park named so after colorful appearance due to local mineral deposits. A 28 mile (45 km) long scenic road that starts at the visitor centre offers a view of the area with nine observation overlooks. At Kachina Point you can find the beginning of the Painted Wilderness trailhead. Camping is allowed in the area of Petrified Forest National Park, but with the permit purchased at the visitor centre. 

 

 

Fees and permits

Entrance fees are $5 for individuals on foot, bike or motorcycle, and $10 for private vehicles. The Petrified Forest Annual Pass is available for $20 and allows free park entry for one year.

There are several passes for groups traveling together in a private vehicle or individuals on foot or on bike. These passes provide free entry at national parks and national wildlife refuges, and also cover standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. These passes are valid at all national parks including Petrified Forest National Park:

The $80 Annual Pass (valid for twelve months from date of issue) can be purchased by anyone. Military personnel can obtain a free annual pass in person at a federal recreation site by showing a Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID.
U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over can obtain a Senior Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site for $80, or through the mail for $90; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and age. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities. Seniors can also obtain a $20 annual pass.
U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities can obtain an Access Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site at no charge, or through the mail for $10; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and permanent disability. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities.
Individuals who have volunteered 250 or more hours with federal agencies that participate in the Interagency Pass Program can receive a free Volunteer Pass.
4th graders can receive an Annual 4th Grade Pass that allows free entry for the duration of the 4th grade school year (September-August) to the bearer and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle. Registration at the Every Kid in a Park website is required.
In 2018 the National Park Service will offer four days on which entry is free for all national parks: January 15 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), April 21 (1st Day of NPS Week), September 22 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day weekend).