Photographing the Petrified Forest, Again

The Petrified Forest 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 for 26 miles with numerous and easily identifiable stops. It’s hard to get good light as the park opens after sunrise and closes before sunset, but you just have to work with what you can.

Our second visit to the Petrified Forrest could not have been more opposite than our first time. Our first visit was hot, dry, and a bald sky. This time it was cold, windy, and we had beautiful clouds. Here is what we saw.

We started at the southern end of the Park at the Rainbow Forest Museum. The short walk at Rainbow Forest is really fun and you will see some of the best examples of the petrified wood. You could spend hours here, really. Close-up photography is a must here.

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. Our favorite is Tiponi Point which is the last overlook and next to the Painted Desert Visitor’s Center.

And don’t miss the old car as you cross Highway 40/Route 66.

With the right kind of sky and weather, this park is spectacular. We’ll probably try again during monsoon season. 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.

Here is a link to our first visit to the Petrified Forest.

To view more images for the Petrified Forest National Park visit our Flickr site here

To see more of and buy our photographs, please go to

One Comment

  1. Robert Miller

    Hi there, my name is Robert Miller. I have a question/favor to ask of you. I have just started a podcast called Photography, Parks, and People that will begin its first episodes this coming monday, the 13th. The objective is to offer some quick tips and basic info when visiting whatever particular park is featured that episode. I am about to record an episode about The Petrified Forest National Park with Ranger Hallie Larsen. We have a supporting web site that will give a little supporting information, photographs, etc.
    So here is my question. Would you be willing to share a few of your images from the park with us? This is a park that I have never been able to visit to this point. I would like to post each photograph with your information about settings, and maybe just a very short blurb about shooting that particular image. I would be more than happy to include your website or any other info you would like linked in our website. It would be specifically for that episode. I would love to have a few images about that park listed on the website for extra content.
    If you have any questions at all, please feel free to call , email, or message me back.
    Thanks so much for taking time to read this!

    Robert Miller
    cell 903-240-0058



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s