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Crystal Forest

Petrified rock
Neat cairn made from petrified wood
Petrified logs
Petrified wood
Map: Crystal forest
Petrified wood


How to Get There
This hike is located near Holbrook, AZ.

To get to the trailhead: From Holbrook area, take I-40 East to exit 311 (24 miles). The North entrance to the Petrified Forest National Park is here. The signed turn-off to the Crystal Forest is about 20 miles from the north entrance.

To get to the south entrance to the Petrified Forest National Park, take HWY-180 south-east 19 miles to the South entrance of the park. The turn-off to the Crystal Forest is about 8 miles from the south entrance.
Petrified Forest
Petrified Forest National Park and North Eastern AZ

Hike details

0.80 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
The hike described is 0.8 miles for the loop.
0.45 [Hours]
This hike took about 45 minutes with a leisurely pace.
Elevation Change
0 Total gain/loss [Feet]
Elevation Loss
0 Total Elevation Loss[Feet]
Elevation Gain
0 Total Elevation Gain [Feet]
Elevation Details
none to speak of.
Hike Trail Type


Best Season
  • April
  • May
  • September
  • October
Worst Season
  • June
  • July
  • August
Season Details
All Year. If hiking in the summer, best start this hike early in the morning because it can get hot. Best hiked during fall and spring.
Date Hike completed
October 01, 2005


Solitude Details
This is a popular national park. Expect to share this trail with 30 other hikers and sightseers.


Difficulty Rating
difficulty detail
30 yr old Recommendation: An abundance of petrified wood and logs and a nice opportunity to get a close inspection of the crystal features. The hike described here is an Easy hike.


Be Aware of
entry fee for the National Park

Hike the Crystal forest trail in Petrified Forest National park, Arizona.

The Crystal forest contains a multitude of petrified logs amidst the hills of the Painted Desert. This trail allows for close inspection of these fascinating remains from a pre-historic era. You can very clearly see the crystallization caused by silica groundwater that replaced the wood tissues of the trees. As the years progressed, the silica crystallized into the quartz seen here.

The trail well marked. It starts at the Crystal Forest parking area and loops around this unique area.

Don't take any of the petrified wood here, please leave it for future generations to enjoy.


Swap Start/End
Adding markers to the map ...