Visiting Petrified Forest National Park

Blue Mesa Trail 2 Petrified Forest National Park Arizona USA.
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Before arriving at Petrified Forest National Park, I had mostly heard that the place was relatively underwhelming and not worth going out of your way to visit. Since we were going to be driving right past it, however, we decided to stop by. And just like the Mojave Desert, I ended up being pleasantly surprised by just how much there was to see there.

Crystal Forest Trail

We started our visit off with a short hike along the Crystal Forest trail, which was easily accessible from the main road that works its way through the park. The name of the trail, of course, is pretty misleading. It is pretty much the farthest thing from a forest that there is. Long stretches of desert dotted with petrified wood were all that you could see for miles, save for one thin cliff breaking up the horizon.

Rock Formation and Logs Petrified Forest National Park Arizona USA.
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I was actually surprised by just how interested I became in the petrified wood that was scattered around the park. The idea that this desert was at one point a lush forest was absolutely mind-blowing. And some of the pieces were just really beautiful.

Log Gem Grass Petrified Forest National Park Arizona USA.
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Blue Mesa Loop

After getting our fill of petrified wood, we drove the Blue Mesa Loop and stopped at several viewpoints along the way to admire the badlands. This was probably my favorite part of the entire park. I probably stood and gazed out across the blue striped mesas in complete awe at how much our world has to offer us.

Blue Mesa Petrified Forest National Park Arizona USA.
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Blue Mesa Trail 3 Petrified Forest National Park Arizona USA.
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Painted Desert

 

Our final stop along the way was at the Painted Desert, which was actually relatively underwhelming. We had already seen so much red rock while driving across Arizona. It was still completely beautiful, of course, so we had to stop at a coup viewpoints along the way.

Red Rock Petrified Forest National Park Arizona USA.
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All in all, I was really pleased with our short stop at Petrified Forest. I had no idea that there was so much to do there. I easily could have filled up a whole day there with hiking and exploring everything that the park has to offer!

Blue Mesa Trail 2 Petrified Forest National Park Arizona USA.
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MY FAVORITE TRAVEL TIPS & RESOURCES

Booking Flights: The first place I turn when I’m searching for flights is actually just Google Flights - it’s great to figure out what sort of routes are available. Then, I check Skyscanner and Kiwi for deals. I also love Kiwi for its destination: anywhere feature!

Transportation: I love Omio for figuring out the cheapest way to get from one place to another, and Trainline for booking train tickets within Europe.

Accommodations: I absolutely love Booking.com for finding great hotel deals. After you stay a certain number of nights, you get Genius discounts! For hostels, Hostelworld is my go-to, and I use Airbnb occasionally as well (click here for $40 off your first booking!)

Travel Insurance: I knew that I shouldn’t travel without insurance for the longest time, but I really learned my lesson when I got an infected cut in Bali. Thank goodness I had travel insurance! I use and love World Nomads for their extremely comprehensive coverage.

Travel Insurance: I knew that I shouldn’t travel without insurance for the longest time, but I really learned my lesson when I got an infected cut in Bali. Thank goodness I had travel insurance! I use and love World Nomads for their extremely comprehensive coverage.

Tours: I always check Urban Adventures for great day tours of cities first–I’m obsessed with them! GetYourGuide and Viator are also great options. For multi-day tours, I highly recommend Intrepid.

Camera Gear: I use a Sony Alpha A6300 camera with an 18-105 mm lens and a 35 mm lens. My tripod is the MeFoto Backpacker Air and I loooooove it! I also use a DJI Mavic Air and a GoPro and which allow me to capture everything my regular camera can’t.

3 thoughts on “Visiting Petrified Forest National Park”

  1. Pingback: Slide Rock State Park, Arizona // The Complete Guide • Addie Abroad

  2. Pingback: Hiking the Grand Canyon on the South Kaibab Trail • Addie Abroad

  3. Pingback: How to Plan a Road Trip // Tips and Tricks to Have the Best Road Trip Yet

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