Directions to Petrified Forest National Park

Map of Petrified Forest National Park in north...
Map of Petrified Forest National Park in northeastern Arizona, United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Petrified Forest National Park is in Arizona, northeastern Arizona to be more precise, around 50 miles away from the New Mexico border on I-40.

If you want to visit Petrified Forest National Park then don’t be relying on public transportation because there isn’t any, you’ll have to find another way . . . .

Traveling to Petrified Forest National Park by Plane

There are three major airports which are all within a short(ish) distance of Petrified Forest National Park, and some more smaller, regional type airports just that little bit closer.

  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is around 166 miles from Petrified Forest National Park.
  • Albuquerque International Airport is around 181 miles away.
  • Tucson International Airport is approximately 210 miles from Petrified Forest National Park.
  • Grand Canyon Pulliam Field, Flagstaff is round about 107 miles from the park.
  • Grand Canyon National Park Airport is a little further, about 147 miles away.
  • Farmington Municipal Airport is approximately 150 miles from Petrified Forest National Park.

There’s also a small airport for private planes in Holbrook, Arizona, so if you’re really flash and have your own private plane then you can fly to there!

Traveling to Petrified Forest National Park by Road

Let’s start with driving from Phoenix, that’s a great place to start. Actually, if you are driving to the Petrified Forest National Park from Phoenix then you’ve got a couple of choices, depending on which part of Phoenix you are at, at the start of your journey.

  • Phoenix – north and west side of greater Phoenix – you need to head out on I-17 north and I-40 east traveling through Flagstaff, a journey of around 259 miles.
  • Phoenix – eastern side of greater Phoenix – travel along Highway 87 North to Payton, then Highway 260 east to Heber, Highway 377 north to Holbrook and finally Highway 180 south to Petrified Forest National Park, a journey of approximately 215 miles.
  • Albuquerque – travel west along I-40 for 204 miles to exit 311.
1931 Studebaker sedan commemorating U.S. Route...

1931 Studebaker sedan commemorating U.S. Route 66, a decommissioned transcontinental highway, where it passed through Petrified Forest National Park in northeastern Arizona, United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Petrified Forest National Park stretches from north to south (or from south to north) between Interstate 40 and Highway 180. There are two different entrances to Petrified Forest National Park, and the best entrance for you depends on the direction of your travel.

Westbound – if you’re traveling westbound towards the Petrified Forest National Park then take Exit 311, drive around 28 miles through the park before connecting with Highway 180 at the south side. Travel a further 19 miles on Highway 180 north to take you back to Interstate 40, via Holbrook.

Eastbound – on Interstate 40 you should take Exit 285 to Holbrook and then travel a further 19 miles on Highway 180 south to the south entrance of the park. Driving the 28 miles through the park northerly will bring you back to Interstate 40.

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