Stratified rock projects into the sky in great furrows, baked dry by the sun and rising hundreds of feet in the air. Get off the beaten track in the spectacular Petrified Forest Wilderness Area. Here are some of the special hikes you can enjoy with hotels near Petrified Forest National Park:
Adventurous hikers can challenge themselves with this spectacular trail through the blue and white badlands. Photo opportunities arise around every corner along this trail, which embraces some of the park's most iconic vistas. So impressive are the badlands that it is the primary attraction of the park for many visitors to Petrified Forest National Park Cabins. Walking sticks are recommended, as the trail can be treacherous in wet conditions.
Hike the 2.5 mile loop trail that follows an old 1930's road through strange and sublime forests of petrified wood. First Forest is so called because it was the first discovered by travelers when they arrived via the Adamana train station a hundred years ago. Look out for fossils, artifacts and petrified wood as you hike.
A spiral shaped petroglyph snakes around the base of Martha's Butte. A 1.5 mile hike takes you to a prominent vantage point from which you can see this remarkable sight. This solar marker is bisected by the summer solstice sunrise. There is no trail to the Butte but recommended routes are available from the park's Visitor Center.
From ancient artifacts and impressive pueblo dwellings to crystals and America's most famous road, the wonders of Petrified Forest National Park are many. Get out there and discover these natural treasures:
Grab your mountain bike and head for the hills. Cycle trails begin at the Rainbow Forest Picnic Area and you can also cycle along the unpaved section of America's famous Route 66, which passes through the park. Long Legs Trail is also partially paved, all the way from the intersection with the park road to the trailhead loop.
Six hundred year old petroglyphs can be found at the southern end of the Puerco Pueblo Trail, which leads to a small pueblo settlement. This fascinating outdoor attraction is sited just a third of a mile from the trailhead.
Walk the two mile route from the Rainbow Forest Museum to a pueblo that was built here seven hundred years ago. Archaeological artifacts are still in situ at the eight room home.
Come and discover the glittering crystals within the petrified logs on this trail. The mile-long loop trail is one of the best in the park for getting up close to the petrified wood.
Petrified Forest National Park Cabins locate you amid landscapes that might be mistaken for a Surrealist painting. Weird monoliths project from deserts and ancient fossils abound. Children will love discovering the intriguing secrets that the Petrified Forest National Park has to offer. Here are some of the most exciting:
Discover the spectacular geological formations that rise from the desert floor in dramatic pinnacles in the southwest of the park. Learn about their formation at the Painted Desert Visitor Center and obtain a permit for your explorations. Kids will be amazed that this sculptural landscape occurs in nature.
Live out your cowboy dreams with a horseback ride through the wilderness. The equestrian trail begains at Kachina Point and descends over a 1000 ft before winding through the wilderness. On the way you will spot rare desert wildlife and enjoy scenic views of this unique and marvellous landscape.
Come and take part in the world's largest scavenger hunt, which takes you to the pinnacles of mountains, through deserts and lush forests. The Petrified Forest National Park has virtual, traditional and earthcaches at several sets of coordinates. Your kids will be hooked on this real-life treasure hunt, and you will discover the park's most intriguing corners on your way.