username
X
password
register help
This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Painted Desert Rim Trail, AZ

details
drive
permit
forecast
map
stats
photos
triplogs
topics
location
145 15 0
Guide 15 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northeast > Holbrook
Rated
3.4
3.4 of 5 by 7
 
0
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 5,854 feet
Elevation Gain 50 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 0.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 1.25
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
38  2017-11-11 vanillagorilla
14  2016-06-25
Petrified Forest National Park
jochal
17  2016-05-07
Petrified Forest National Park
DallinW
2  2015-08-20 Hippy
34  2015-05-04
Petrified Forest NP
winotron
35  2014-09-27
Return of the Painted Desert Rendezvous
Randal_Schulhaus
5  2009-11-28 kathleenkylee
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Expand Map
Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → Any
Sun  6:54am - 5:13pm
Route
 
0 Linked
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Onyx Bridge
Onyx Bridge
0.4 mi away
4.4 mi
426 ft
Pilot Rock Summit
Pilot Rock Summit
0.4 mi away
16.0 mi
1,500 ft
Puerco Pueblo
Puerco Pueblo
7.2 mi away
0.3 mi
20 ft
Newspaper Rock
8.2 mi away
0.1 mi
1 ft
Blue Mesa Trail
Blue Mesa Trail
9.9 mi away
1.0 mi
-210 ft
Jasper Forest
Jasper Forest
13.3 mi away
2.4 mi
179 ft
Crystal Forest Loop
Crystal Forest Loop
14.9 mi away
0.9 mi
47 ft
Martha
Martha's Butte
16.7 mi away
2.1 mi
84 ft
Agate House and Long Logs
18.9 mi away
2.6 mi
60 ft
Giant Logs - Pefo
18.9 mi away
0.4 mi
37 ft
[ View More! ]
Take a look at nature's color palette
by rally_toad

Likely In-Season!
People flock from many different parts of the country and the world to see the Painted Desert, a beautiful work of art brought to you by mother nature. Some people confuse Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert as one and the same, however they are not. Petrified Forest is ENTIRELY within the Painted Desert, which is a huge area extending from east of the grand canyon all the way east of Petrified Forest and into parts of New Mexico. The Painted Desert is NOT only the northern section of Petrified Forest, although these are some of the best views of the Painted Desert, so take your time in the North part of the park.


One of my co-workers described the Painted Desert very well. He explained that the park is within the Painted Desert, we however have different "color palettes" as you go through the park. He explains that at the south end we have the purple/pink/mauve palette, around Blue Mesa we have the Blue palette, and up here at the North End we have the beautiful Red palette. This hike gives you spectacular views of the Red Palette of the Painted Desert.

The trail starts out at Tawa Point and takes you .5 miles to Kachina Point and the Painted Desert Inn, a national historic landmark. Along the way you cannot help but stare at the panoramas around you. You can see depending on the time of day many different colors, among the colors I have observed in this area are: white, red, orange, pink, purple, and black.

As you walk along the trail, you are walking through the volcanic and relatively new (5-8 million years old) Bidahochi Formation, basalt is around you as you hike. Below you is the 220 million year old Chinle formation which is exposed throughout the Painted Desert. See the problem? There is over 200 million years of geologic time missing in the park. Geologists call this an unconformity. The rock from the missing time was either never deposited, or it eroded away before the Bidahochi was deposited. This area is geologically fascinating!

As you walk on the trail, notice not only the multi-colored hills, but also keep an eye out for Petrified Wood in the desert below. Many visitors think that the wood is restricted to the southern end of the park, however Black Forest in the Painted Desert Wilderness Unit contains some of the most cool Petrified Wood in the park, it also includes the relatively unknown Onyx Bridge, a type of natural bridge that you will not see anywhere else.

After about 15-20 minutes or less of hiking you find yourself at the Painted Desert Inn and Kachina Point. Enjoy the views from Kachina before backtracking and returning the way you came.

rally_toad
  • Pefo PDF
    area related
    Pefo PDF
  • Pefo PDF - 2
    area related
    Pefo PDF - 2
  • Pefo PDF - 3
    area related
    Pefo PDF - 3
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$
NPS

Petrified Forest National Park
$10 per car (for 7 days), Walk-ins $5 Petrified National Forest


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Start from Tawa point, about 1.5 miles from the north entrance to Petrified Forest on the main park road. There will be a sign for Tawa point on the right.
page created by rally_toad on Aug 17 2009 10:56 am
help comment issue

end of page marker