Visitors can drive the 28 miles of the Main Park road, stopping at any number of overlooks to see petrified wood, petroglyphs, archeological sites, and Painted Desert vistas.
For those who wish to explore the park for an extended period, backpacking is permitted. A free wilderness permit must be obtained at least one hour before the park closes. Permits are issued at Rainbow Forest Museum and Painted Desert Visitor Center. Hikers must park their cars and enter the wilderness at Kachina Point. A 1 mile access trail leads into the wilderness area. Campers must hike to a designated zone north of Lithodendron Wash before setting up camp. There are no trails or maintained campsites.
Along the 28-mile park road are overlooks, entries to hiking trails and the wilderness trailhead.
Tawa Point and Rim Trail Easy one-mile round trip walk along the rim of the Painted Desert between Tawa and Kachina Point.
Blue Mesa and Blue Mesa Trail 3-mile vehicle loop road with views of clay hills, log falls and a pedestal log. One-mile loop trail, moderately difficult, drops into the badlands; self-guiding trail.
Jasper Forest Overlook See petrified logs strewn across the landscape.
Crystal Forest Trail Easy 0.75-mile loop trail winds through petrified logs that once held clear quartz and amethyst crystals.
Long Logs Trail Easy 0.5-mile trail through a large concentration of petrified wood. Trail closed 1/2 hour before park closes.
Agate House Trail Easy 0.8-mile walk (one way) to a partially restored pueblo built of petrified wood. Trail closed 1/2 hour before park closes.
Giant logs Trail Easy 0.4-mile paved trail leads you to the largest log in the park. Trailhead at Rainbow Forest Museum.
Wilderness Hiking and Camping Park at Kachina Point. Wilderness trail begins on the north side of Painted Desert Inn. Free permit is requited for overnight camping; available at Painted Desert Visitor Center and Rainbow Forest Museum up to 1 hour before the park closes. Water is not available in the backcountry. Carry one gallon of water per person per day. There are no designated campsites. No permit is required for day use. Pets are prohibited in wilderness area.
Admission: Entrance Fees: (7 days) - Bicyclists and Walk-ins, $5.00; Vehicles, $10.00
Hours: The park is open every day except Christmas.
Summer hours are 7:00am to 7:00pm MST.
Winter hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm MST.
Address: Interstate 40 about 25 miles E of Holbrook, AZ
Most restrooms, visitor centers, and picnic areas are accessible or accessible with assistance for wheelchair users. Long Logs, Agate House, Crystal Forest, and Puerco Pueblo trails are paved and partially accessible or accessible with assistance for wheelchair users. Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark is ramped and wheelchair accessible with assistance.
The high desert plateau has summer daytime average temperatures in the 90's and summer overnight temperatures in the 60's. Winters are mild, frequently freezing overnight but warming by mid-afternoon to an average of 40 degrees.
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