3 Things to See & Do at the Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park

If you think all you are going to see at the Petrified Forest National Park are a bunch of petrified logs laying around, think again!!! This park offers an array of unique and amazing ecosystems and I think it is an often overlooked National Park. Comfortably situated along I-40 between Flagstaff, AZ and Gallup, NM, it is a must see for many travelers.

You can spend a couple hours or an entire day. We spent a half a day and we wished we would have had more time. Here are the things we saw and loved.

  1. Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark views – While the Inn is pretty cool, what we enjoyed most were the views. If you have very young kids the Inn can be a little stressful as most of the items are delicate.  painted-desert
  2. Blue Mesa – There are not words to adequately describe this place. I have never seen anything like it. The picture says it all. We hiked the mile long trail and it was perfect for stretching the legs and letting the kids have some time to run around.  Blue-Mesa
  3. Giant Logs and the Rainbow Forest Museum – This is were you get an amazing look at the petrified logs, the museum is fun and where the kids get sworn in as Junior Rangers.  Giant-Logs

The Junior Ranger program was fun although my kids were probably a little young. I loved the program because we talked about our visit to the park for months after because they enjoyed playing with their badges. One the other hand, the Junior Ranger program is most likely one of the reasons we ran out of time and didn’t get to see everything we wanted to.  junior-ranger

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Mae Kiggins
There are not many places that I would rather be than outdoors. I grew up hiking and camping in the Rockies. In college I studied natural resources and worked as a park ranger, research assistant and policy intern. Now-a-days my adventures include my two children, 4 and 1, and husband. When my son was asked what he was thankful for he said camping. In the spring of 2014 I will begin the new adventure of teaching environmental studies at the college level.
Mae Kiggins

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