Petrified Forest National Park has reopened, along with Painted Desert Visitor Center and Rainbow Forest Museum. There are no limitations on access to most of the park attractions and established trails.
Unfortunately, the remainder of the Field Institute events have been canceled as we rework the guided hiking trips and workshops to implement necessary safety measures. Our hope is to be able to bring these workshops and more back next season in a way that protects participants and instructors.
- This event has passed.
In the Land of Color: Exploring the Devil’s Playground
October 11 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Instructor: Christa Sadler
Petrified Forest National Park is one of the most interesting landscapes in the world. Geologically, the deposits of petrified wood and the colored rocks tell an incredible story of this region more than 200 million years ago.
Ancient peoples have called this landscape home for hundreds of years and desert plants and animals have adapted beautifully to life in this arid region. Plus, Petrified Forest is also one of the most beautiful and fantastical landscapes anywhere!
Join us on a day-long adventure in the unique and little-visited Devil’s Playground area of the park, as we explore its geology, paleontology, history, flora and fauna—and whatever other surprises we discover!
We will meet at Painted Desert Visitor Center for a quick overview of the park’s unique environments and history. From here, we will carpool to the trailhead for the Devil’s Playground hike. High-clearance vehicles are recommended but not required, and four-wheel drive is not necessary.
Devil’s Playground is only accessible to a few people every year, and is an absolutely extraordinary landscape of bizarre eroded rock, hoodoos and badlands. This 7 to 8-mile round trip hike takes us through colorful rock layers and petrified wood that make this an exceptional area to explore the nature of Petrified Forest National Park.
Meeting time: 8:00 AM
Class will be over by 5:00 PM
- $119 – Non-Member
- $100 – Member *Learn more at PFMA site
- Trail length: 7 to 8 miles, elevation change of 200 feet one way.
- Difficulty: moderate; there are some steep and scrambly areas, and there is no actual trail. Participants need to be in decent physical shape, with the ability to do some scrambling.
- Please wear sturdy shoes and sun and rain protection. Bring a lunch and at least two liters of water in a small daypack.
- Other useful items: binoculars and camera, walking stick(s)
- Class registration does not include park entrance fees. For more information, visit FAQs page.
Maximum number of participants: 10
Minimum age of participants: 15 (must be accompanied by parent or guardian)