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Get “Petrified” This October With Arizona’s Fossilized Forests (but Don’t Be Scared of Monthly RV Rates)

painted desert petrified forest

Instead of ghosts and goblins this year, get “petrified” in a whole new way with Arizona’s fossilized forests—but don’t let monthly RV rates scare you away. Zuni Village RV Park has some great prices for travelers that are a real “treat” this spooky season. Longer stays allow you to hit all the popular haunts in and around Kingman—spots like the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park.

This October, visitors to Kingman and the Zuni Village RV Park and Campground will have no problem scaring up a great day trip. Just under four hours from Kingman along the Mother Road, the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park has the world’s largest and most colorful collection of petrified wood. It is also the only national park in the United States that protects a portion of Route 66. So, this Halloween, visit one of Arizona’s most unique features and attractions, and get ready to be “petrified.”

Getting There

Approximately 267 driving miles lay between Kingman and the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park. Following the I-40 and US-93 S route, the drive takes about four hours non-stop. Coming from the east, visitors should take the Holbrook exit (Exit 285) and follow Highway 180 toward the southern entrance to the park.

Background

When travelers visit the Petrified Forest, they can enjoy two spectacular natural attractions for the price of one. The striated, colorful “badlands” of the Painted Desert stretch 7,500 miles all the way from the eastern end of the Grand Canyon and into the Petrified Forest. Both parks combine to form the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park. Visitors can drive through the park, traversing the same scenic landscapes travelers have used for over 10,000 years.

Highlights

One of the highlights of a visit to the park is, of course, the Petrified Forest. The Petrified Forest contains the fossilized remains of ancient trees that once inhabited the area. Over time, sediment covered the original plant material and replaced it with inorganic materials such as silica, pyrite, calcite, and even opal! The process takes place in such a way that the woody details, like bark structure, tree rings, etcetera, are petrified as rock but remain “frighteningly” accurate to their original form. 

The trees are not the only fossils you can find in the park, however. The entire area is rife with fossils of plants and animals from the Triassic Period. There are examples of Archosaurs, or “ruling reptiles”, smaller Drepanosaurs, and more! You can also read the history of the indigenous people of the area in the ancient structures and petroglyphs located on the property. Petroglyphs are prehistoric carvings, often etched into a rock face. They frequently tell the history of the peoples who carved them. In the case of the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park, the petroglyphs you will see were created by the Puebloan people and contain clan information, migratory routes, and mark prominent events.

Opening Hours

The park remains open year-round from 8:AM-5:AM daily, with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. You do need a park pass for entrance. Personal vehicles can enter for $25 USD, or you can opt for an annual pass for just $45 USD. This pass only grants access to the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park. If you plan on visiting other national parks in the United States, such as the Grand Canyon, you may want to consider purchasing the America the Beautiful Pass for $80. The America the Beautiful Pass grants you access to over 2,000 national parks and recreation areas managed by the National Parks Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

Things to Do

While driving through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park remains a breathtaking attraction on its own merit with sweeping colorful landscapes and scenic overlooks, don’t miss all the other great activities the national park has to offer. Here are just a few.

Hiking

Avid hikers, from beginner to expert, have a wide variety of designated trails to get up close and personal with the natural splendor of the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park. Hiking offers a great way to see some of the unique sights, like Newspaper Rock, an ancient, hundred-room pueblo along the Peurco Pueblo Trail, or ten-foot wide, colorful petrified logs on the Giant Log Trail. Hikers are advised to remain on marked trails to protect themselves as well as the flora and fauna of the area. Leashed dogs are allowed on the trails and can even earn a special treat and B.A.R.K. certificate. Bikes are not allowed.

Museum Demonstration Lab

The trees of the Petrified Forest aren’t the only fossils you can witness in Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park. In the Museum Demonstration Lab, visitors can watch as paleontologists work to extract fossils from rock. Kids will love the opportunity to speak directly with the scientists with two-way speakers. It’s all the fun of Jurassic Park, but without the nasty velociraptors. 

Cultural Appreciation

A visit to the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park also offers visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of the indigenous people. The park has affiliations with over thirty tribes in the region, and many come to the Painted Desert Inn to share cultural demonstrations. You can see Yavapai Apache beaders and jewelers, Zuni potters, and hear family stories from the grandchildren of a Diné (Navajo) Codetalker just to name a few. Check the schedule for more details. 

More “Treats” with Zuni’s Monthly RV Rates

With so much to see and do in Arizona, like the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park, many travelers look for campgrounds with reasonable monthly RV rates. Visitors to Zuni Village RV Park and Campground are in for a real “treat.” Our competitive rates are sure to hit a sweet spot. We honor several travel club memberships, allowing our visitors to get the best value for their stay. Just contact us and our courteous and efficient staff will be happy to provide you with our current rates and availability. You can also call us direct at 928-692-6202. 

FAQS

Do you allow tent camping?

Our facility is designed strictly for fully self-contained RVs no older than 2000. No tent camping is allowed.

Are pets allowed at Zuni Village RV Park and Campground?

At Zuni Village RV Park and Campground, we welcome you and all the members of your family—including the four-legged ones! Two dogs are permitted per campsite with a nominal $15 pet deposit. Do note that for the safety of all our guests, we do not allow vicious breeds. 

Where can I find information about rates and availability?

The best way to find information about our competitive rates, whether for a short on long-term stay, is to visit our easy-to-navigate website or contact our friendly staff by phone at 928-692-6202. Here at Zuni, we pride ourselves on honoring many travel club memberships in addition to our reasonable rates to offer our visitors the best value.

So, if you’re visiting Arizona this October and trying to find new and exciting things to do has you absolutely “petrified,” don’t worry. Just visit the beautiful Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park—a unique day trip from Kingman and the Zuni Village and RV Campground. This family and pet-friendly destination offers something for outdoor enthusiasts, science buffs, and cultural aficionados year-round. With all the different choices available at the park, you have no problem “scaring” up a good time.

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