Operating Hours: top
7:30 AM - 5:30 PM, Labor Day to Memorial Day, 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM Memorial Day to Labor Day (call ahead to confirm hours). Open all year except for Christmas and New Years. Please note that the entire state of Arizona does not observe daylight savings time.
Fees & Permits: top
$10 vehicle access fee, $5 for pedestrian and cyclists. Annual Golden Eagle Pass, $50 and good at all National Park facilities for one year from date of issue. Commercial photography photos permit required
Spring: Warm, dry and windy. Desert conditions with temperatures ranging from the 50'ies to the 90'ies by June
Summer: Hot, and dry with frequent evening thunderstorms. Temperatures in the 90'ies and 100'ies. Wind storms possible
Fall: Warm, dry and windy. Desert conditions with temperature ranging from the 90'ies in September falling to the 30'ies in December
Winter: Cold, dry conditions. Temperatures fall as low as the 20'ies and on rare occasions there is very light snow.
What To See: top
Painted Desert is in the northern part of the park offering scenic vistas and backcountry hiking and camping. Puerco Pueblo and Newspaper Rock offer more than 600 petroglyphs and ancient Native American ruins. The southern part of the park provides amazing views of badland formations at Blue Mesa, and a variety of petrified wood and agates. No collection of petrified wood is allowed, the park enforces a strict zero tolerance policy and violators will be fined and arrested.
A variety of ranger led activities are available during the summer months. March is archeology month and a summer solstice program is held at Puerco Pueblo for about two weeks starting on June 21st. You should call ahead for more information and a current schedule of events.
Children's Activities: top
Painted Desert National Park does not have a Junior Ranger Program.
Rim Trail, 1/2 mile one way, easy
Painted Desert Wilderness, backcountry, easy to very strenuous
Blue Mesa Trail, one mile loop, improved, easy-moderate
Crystal Forest Trail, 3/4 mile loop, easy
Long Logs Trail, 1/2 mile loop, easy
Agate House Trail, 8/10 of a mile one way, easy
Giant Logs Trail, 2/5 of a mile loop, improved with stairs, easy
Mountain Biking: top
Improved Camp Sites: top
Backcountry Primitive Camping: top
Improved Shelters, Cabins: top
Lodges or Motel Type Facilities: top
Private vehicle and commercial tours only -- no public transportation
Major Airline Access: top
Gallup, New Mexico, 65 miles east
Flagstaff, Arizona, 95 miles west
Albuquerque, New Mexico, 175 miles east
Phoenix, Arizona, 235 miles southwest
Holbrook, Arizona, 19 miles west of the park on Interstate 40
Chambers, Arizona, 17 miles east of the park on Interstate 40
Food, Fuel, Shopping: top
Holbrook, Arizona, multiple restaurants, stores, gas stations, motels and travel facilites
Chambers, Arizona, small gas station north of the interstate (the Exxon Station indicated on the highway is closed), single restaurant at the Best Western Chieftain Inn with a very small shop for the most basic needs
Related Websites: top