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Petrified Forest National Park Fees & Reservations

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Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park fees are very “user friendly”, you get a whole lot of park for very little cost, and on special days you can even visit Petrified Forest National Park for free, yep, free, zilch, nada, nothing at all!

So how much will it cost to visit Petrified Forest National Park on a normal day? Well, even a normal day pass last for a full seven days from the day of purchase, so you can visit the park as many times as you like for a whole week.

  • $10 will pay for a private vehicle pass (including passengers) for seven days
  • $5 will pay for single entry to the park for seven days, that’s for the people who walk, cycle or visit the park on a motorcycle
  • $20 will pay for an annual pass to the Petrified Forest National Park, so if you’re lucky enough to live close to the park and have access all year round, what a bargain!

Free Entry Days at Petrified Forest National Park

The following days have been designated as free entry days at Petrified Forest National Park for 2012, but every year is pretty similar so check it out.

  • Martin Luther King Jr Weekend – January 14 through 16
  • National Park Week – April 21 through 29
  • Get Outdoors Day – June 9
  • National Public Lands Day – September 29
  • Veterans Day Weekend – November 10 through 12

Bear in mind that the park is possibly gonna’ be a bit busier than usual on those dates, but don’t let that put you off, there’s plenty of room for everybody.

Commercial Vehicle Entry Fees to Petrified Forest National Park

Of course, if you’re using the Petrified Forest National Park to create an income by conducting professional tours to the park etc, then you’ve gotta’ pay that little bit more, as follows;

  • Large bus with the capacity for 26 or more passengers will cost $150 for seven days.
  • Smaller bus with the capacity for between 16 and 25 passengers will cost $60 for seven days.
  • Van with the capacity for between 7 and 15 passengers will cost $50 for seven days.
  • Passenger vehicle which has the capacity for up to 6 passengers will cost $20 for seven days.
  • Non-commercial, organized groups are charged at $5 per person, which excludes the driver, one guide and any visitors who are under 15 years of age.

Petrified Forest National Park – Overnight Stays

There are no campgrounds in the Petrified Forest National Park, although back country camping is permitted, but you’ve gotta’ have a permit. These permits don’t cost anything, they’re completely free of charge and can be acquired in person at either the Rainbow Forest Museum, the Painted Desert Inn or the Painted Desert Visitor Center. You must get your back country permit at least one hour before the park closes.

Back country camping is allowed only in the Petrified Forest National Park Wilderness area and you’ve got to hike at least 1 mile from two designated parking areas within the park. Groups are limited to only 8 people because of the fragile nature of the soil and landscape features. It’s important that minimum impact camping is practised at all times, so naturally that includes how many people are permitted in any one area at a time.

It’s important that you follow the rules of back country camping during your visit to Petrified Forest National Park;

  • You are not allowed to collect any plants, rocks, fossils, petrified woods or other objects during your visit to Petrified Forest National Park. It is ILLEGAL to take stuff from anywhere within the park.
  • Motorized vehicles and bicycles are not permitted in the wilderness area of the park.
  • Wood or charcoal fires are not permitted. Fuel stoves only are permitted.
  • Human waste must be buried at all times.
  • Remember to take your trash with you . . . pack it in, pack it out again!
  • Just remember that the temperatures can vary a great deal in the Petrified Forest National Park, it can turn from extreme heat to bitter cold very quickly so be prepared.
  • Take your water with you, at least one gallon per person, per day for the summer months.

Horses are welcome too. What a terrific place to go horseback riding.

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