The Petrified Forrest is a bit off the beaten path. It’s 120 miles and a 2 hour drive from Flagstaff and near the small town of Holbrook off of Interstate 40 (part of Route 66). The Petrified Forest Road runs right through the middle of the Park, is 26 miles long, and if you did not stop, you could drive it in an hour…but you gotta stop. Here’s what you might see.
We started at the southern end of the Park at the Rainbow Forest Museum. The best photos I have seen of this park have a lot of weather and or thunder storms. We went during monsoon season hoping for something, but we had a hot cloudless day. The short walk at Rainbow Forest is really fun and you will see some of the best examples of the petrified wood. Close-up photography is a must here.
We also hiked out to the Agate House, which was re-built as an example of how the native American population lived here.
There are a number of pullouts and parking lots along the road. Don’t miss Newspaper Rock, but you will need a long telephoto lens from the lookout to get this shot as the trail is now closed.
Also, check out the Blue Mesa and Loop Trail. There are many fine examples of the petrified trees and the loop trail gives you a great close up of the blue canyon walls.
Finally at the other end of the park is the Painted Desert with eight different pull outs/overlooks to make photos.
Here is a view from Tiponi Point which is the last overlook and next to the Painted Desert Visitor Center.
Depending on weather and time of year, one full day in this park should do. If you want to do some of the longer hikes, then two days.
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