Blue Mesa, Painted Desert, Petriefied Forest, Route 66, the big names keep coming. Let’s explore Petrified Forest National Park!
How to Visit Petrified Forest National Park
There’s something I’ll share with you before we scroll down to see my original photography and top Instagram spots from within Petrified Forest National Park. Firstly, I’ll share how to book a hire car and hotel through KAYAK which enables you to find a hotel of your choice nearby and visit the park independently at your own pace and preferred time.
Hire a Car to Visit Petrified Forest National Park
Most likely you’ll explore Petrified Forest as part of a larger road trip. Perhaps as part of a Western United States road trip or more likely as part of Route 66. Wherever you start your trip from you should check car hire prices with KAYAK. Why!? you may ask? Simply put, KAYAK compares hundreds of car rental websites at the click of a button. As a result you’ll likely find incredible hire car deals you never imagined possible. I personally use this knowledge to find a mid-range or luxury vehicle at a lower price. There’s no harm in looking cool as you explore Petrified Forest National Park!
Book a Hotel with KAYAK
Maybe you’re visiting on a day trip as part of a tight schedule? If so I recommend you book your hotel in advance and lock in a great deal. Alternatively, you may let the open road take you where you want to go as you relax while taking in the environment and beauty of the world. For the latter, I recommend you download the KAYAK app on your phone which can search for available hotels around your current location.
KAYAK Price Alerts
There’s a newer method to find lower prices known as a price alert. Set a date and location of your choice and KAYAK will monitor it and email when the price changes. If the price goes up or hopefully down you’ll be the first to know about it. Read more on the KAYAK blog.
What Does Petrified Forest Mean?
Petrified trees form after they get washed down a river and buried under layers of mud or ash from volcanoes as well as other materials. Once the tree is sealed beneath this it becomes deprived of oxygen and cannot decay. As a result of this natural process, millions of years later a petrified tree exists. At Petrified Forest National Park you’re guaranteed to see thousands of these fascinating trees.
What is Special about the Petrified Forest?
Firstly, examples of millions of years of petrification is certainly impressive. If the history and geology doesn’t fascinate you then the visual aspect of this US National Park certainly will. A view which certainly grabbed my attention were the petrified trees with the painted mountains as a backdrop. Additionally, be sure to take a close up look at the petrified trees as the detail is amazing. Lastly, macro photographers will love photographing the petrified trees with millions of years of unique detail packed in there.
Painted Desert Rim Trail
The Northern edge of the park includes the Painted Desert Visitor Center and Painted Desert Rim Trail. Park up your hire car and take this mile long trail for spectacular views of the Painted Desert.
Crystal Forest Trail
Park your hire car in the parking lot and walk the Crystal Forest Trail. Crystal Forest gets its name from the sparkling crystals that can be found in the logs. Remember you’re visiting at your own pace therefore spend as little or as long as you want here. Lastly, this easy trail is less than a mile long.
Giant Logs Trail
This trail is named after the giant petrified logs that sit around it. As a matter of fact the widest log in the park is found here along this short trail. Similarly to the top spot in Yellowstone Park, the largest log is named Old Faithful. It’s a massive 10 feet wide and certainly worth parking up your hire car to see.
Blue Mesa Trail
A walk through the mile long Blue Mesa Trail will transport you to another planet. Certainly, I’ve never seen anywhere like this before on earth. Hike through these colorful badland hills and of course view more of the petrified trees. Before I chat about the top Instagram spot I’m sure some readers are inspired to visit from the picture above. Lastly, with your own hire car and schedule there’s nothing stopping you from visiting this viewpoint during golden hour.
Top Instagram Spot
Ladies, bring a couple of colorful dresses and pose for pictures with a painted desert panoramic background. Additionally, this would be a good place to take a picture with a loved one as well as a family photo. There are rocks which stick out and overlook Blue Mesa. Alternatively, walk through the at the base with the colorful desert hills rising behind you. Whether you visit to take pictures or not, Blue Mesa is certainly reason enough on its own to explore the Petrified Forest National Park.
Route 66 Old Car
At the southern end of the National Park is a classic 1932 Studebaker. Certainly a stop which car lovers will appreciate. In contrast, I’m sure booking your car through KAYAK rewarded you with a better class of car than this one!
Enjoy Your Petrified Forest National Park Visit
Exploring Petrified Forest National Park through KAYAK gives you the freedom to visit for as long as you want and at the exact time of day you want. Additionally, you can find a nearby hotel in a price range you’re comfortable with. All you need to do now is appreciate the out of this world views which this unique National Park offers.
Visiting more US National Parks? Read about Crater Lake, Yellowstone National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Mount Rushmore and Olympic National Park.