A custom guided tour works with your travel plans and group needs to enhance your Petrified Forest experience. While most places in the park are accessible, our expert guides can lead you to places most visitors never get to see. We are committed to working with you to safely provide an enjoyable and educational visit.
Options for custom guided tours are designed to maximize your time by focusing on specific park sites while still leaving you with time to visit the rest of the park at your leisure. For all options, you will follow your instructor in your own vehicle to and between locations for enhanced safety and comfort.
Sun exposure, heat, and high elevation can get the best of the most experienced outdoor enthusiasts. To be prepared, wear comfortable, protective clothing and sunscreen, bring snacks, lunch, and plenty of water for each person, and don’t forget your cameras!
Please note: Prices below do not include park entrance fees.
Most appropriate for a mix of ages and physical ability levels within your group.
This 3-4 hour tour can start from either the north or south entrance, depending on your plans, and generally covers most of the main park attractions. You will follow your guide from point to point to access established trails through our most iconic sites, learning more about the dynamic changes that shaped and created this fantastic landscape. Both ancient and modern histories converge to help round out this tour of the fossil trees and unique geology. Even your leashed Bark Ranger can enjoy this tour! (Bark Ranger details inside park visitor centers.)
$69 per person / No charge for Bark Rangers
Ancient Wonders Tour
A little more physically demanding, appropriate for adults and older children able to climb.
Take a step back in time and into the world of the ancient inhabitants of the Petrified Forest, long before it was preserved as a national park. Messages left on stone, the stories told in etched pictures, and the remnants of ancient dwellings tell us a little about how the ancient people lived and survived on this challenging landscape.
Beginning from the south visitor center, the Rainbow Forest Museum, this 3-4 hour tour includes a scrambly hike to Petroglyph Canyon and a less demanding meander to Agate House, the site of an ancient dwelling constructed out of petrified wood.
$89 per person / Pets not permitted to Petroglyph Canyon
Blue Mesa Marvels
Moderate physicality, includes some steep inclines.
The other spectrum of the colorful Painted Desert is on display in the Blue Mesa section of the park. This moderate hike in and around the colorfully layered landscape provides many of the primordial clues to the Triassic world exposed in the Petrified Forest. Fossil clams, petrified wood, and the stunning color bands deposited by ancient river deltas combine for an otherworldly glimpse at the pre-Jurassic period. Incorporating part of the Old Blue Forest trail and a descent into the Blue Mesa, this is easily a 4-hour excursion.
$89 per person
The Three Bs (Birds, Bees, and Biology)
Appropriate for a mix of ages and physical ability levels within your group.
What seems like an arid, high elevation desert is actually an incredible, biologically diverse environment. The astounding will-to-live in harsh or ephemeral environments is the back story for the communities of diverse flora and fauna found in the Petrified Forest National Park. Bird migrations, seasonal wildflower bloom, and grassland wildlife are just some of the life buzzing around and flourishing in this unique environment.
Beginning from either the north or the south, a 3-4 hour tour of the park will hit most of the main attractions but with a little more focus on the current inhabitants of the Petrified Forest than on the ancient ones. In a few million years, visitors will be in awe at the signs and markings these inhabitants leave behind! Bring along your leashed Bark Ranger for a family experience.
$69 per person / No charge for Bark Rangers
Ice Cream Rocks
Physically demanding, scrambly hike with steep inclines, not appropriate for young children.
Plan on a 4-hour block of time to travel to, hike, and experience the Ice Cream Rocks. An hour-long drive from the visitor center (you follow our guide in your own high clearance, 4WD vehicle) into the heart of the Petrified Forest on a sometimes rough, two-track access road, followed by a climb up a shifty mesa is rewarded with an experience unlike anything else within the park boundaries.
This site of ancient rivers converging, leaving behind swirled mudstones, layered between additional flood deposits, is a stunning example of the powerful forces of nature. Mudstones are the medium, nature the artist, and erosion is the tool in this masterpiece of natural wonder. You will not want to forget your camera.
$89 per person / Pets not permitted to Ice Cream Rocks
Safety and Preparation
You can best prepare for extreme temperatures, sun exposure, unstable terrain, and high elevation by carrying at least a liter of water per person in addition to:
- Wearing sturdy, closed-toed shoes
- Long pants, sleeves, and hats
- Hiking sticks
- Lightweight daypacks for snacks, water, and safety implements
The Petrified Forest Field Institute follows Leave No Trace principles. Collecting of any kind is prohibited in the Petrified Forest National Park.
Call at least 7 days in advance for availability. Contact us at (928) 524-6228 ext. 239 or use our Contact Form.