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Painted Desert

The Painted Desert is located in the Petrified Forest National Park.  Visions of rich reds, grays, and maroons in the Painted Desert are worth the travel to get here.  The desert spreads from far beyond the boundaries of the national park.  The seeming barren landscape is home to a diverse collection of plants and animal life.  Look out for such mammals as pronghorns, cottontails and porcupines; reptiles including collared lizards and western rattle snakes. 

Photo of the Painted Desert

INFORMATION: Contact Petrified Forest National Park, P.O. Box 2217, Petrified Forest National Park, AZ 86028 (p: 928 524 6228: http://www.nps.gov/pefo/index.htm).  Entrance to the park is $10 per vehicle.  Back country permits are free and available at the visitors center.  A 28 mile scenic drive will give you close up views of the petrified wood.  Check out the Painted Desert Inn (below) that once served as a trading post open daily from 9am to 5pm.

Photo of the Painted Desert Inn

CAMPING: There are not any developed campgrounds in the park.  Head towards Holbrook, 25 miles west of the park on I-40 for drive in camping.  The Petrified Forest KOA takes reservations (p: 800 562 3389).  Sites are $25.

Photo of the Painted Desert