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Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area

General Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws Trip Planning

Area Management

The Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area is part of the 110 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. This System of lands provides clean air, water, and habitat critical for rare and endangered plants and animals. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities like hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing, and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. You play an important role in helping to "secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by the Congress of the United States through the Wilderness Act of 1964. Please follow the requirements outlined below and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting the Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area to ensure protection of this unique area.


-- Unless otherwise specified, no motorized equipment or mechanical transport, with the exception of wheelchairs, is allowed.

-- Permits are not required for day use, with the exception of Devil’s Playground. Three permits are available each week on a first-come-first-serve basis. You may call the visitor center at 928 524-6228 x236 to find out the status of these permits. Permits cannot be set aside or saved.

-- Collection of plants, rocks, petrified wood, fossils, archeological objects or other materials is illegal.

-- No wood or charcoal fires are allowed. Please use fuel stoves.

-- Bury human waste.

-- Pack it in, pack it out. Leave no trash behind.


-- Free backcountry camping permits are required and must be acquired in person at either the Painted Desert Visitor Center or Rainbow Forest Museum.

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