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“A must-stop on I-40”
Review of Black Forest

Black Forest
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Forest of darkly-colored petrified wood.
Brookings, Oregon
Level Contributor
124 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“A must-stop on I-40”
Reviewed 11 September 2013

The Black Forest is really the northern part of Petrified Forest National Park, better known as the Painted Desert, and very handy from I-40. You can actually pull off the freeway and enjoy the visitors center, gift shop and restaurant without paying the entrance fee to get into the park, but there's also much to see just a few miles into the park. Don't miss the Painted Desert Inn, a National Historic Landmark. It was originally a lunch counter and trading post for early travelers on Route 66 until the park service bought it in 1936. The CCC rebuilt it in mission style and it reopened in 1940 as an inn. After the war, the Fred Harvey Company managed it as a visitors center and restaurant until 1963. It might have been demolished then, but for the murals done by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie, who also did the art in the Desert Watchtower in the Grand Canyon. It's now a museum and bookstore. You get great views of the Painted Desert from the inn, as well as from several viewpoints within a few miles. You can also take trails into the Painted Desert, but if you want to see lots of petrified logs, drive to the southern part of the park. Keep in mind the restaurant by the northern visitors center is the only real one in the park.

Visited July 2013
Thank William L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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23 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Beautiful Old Dead Wood”
Reviewed 27 June 2013

We toured the Petrified Forest in Arizona the same trip we made to the Grand Canyon in 2005 This park was simply breath taking. The colors, the size, and the abundance of petrified wood laying on the grounds of what use to be a forest turned desert. There was no charge, you could not pick up any of the petrified wood. So I took pictures and more pictures. You could see pictographs on the huge rocks left there by the Native Americans. There was on there titled the newspaper, it had a lot of pictographs on it. It was very educational. Within the Forest was also what they called the painted desert. The different colors of sand was amazing. At the end of the road, there was a ranger station where you could see the history of the Forest. You could also buy a piece of the petrified wood there. It is a little expensive to buy, but you couldn't pick it up off the ground for yourself. Hmmm.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank onewoman62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellicott City, Maryland, United States
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Like Natural History and Walking? Check this out”
Reviewed 1 November 2012

The Black Forest is near the north end of the Petrified Forest National Park. There are restrooms, a restaurant, and a large visitors center near by. This was our last stop through the park, so we were a little tired, but still enjoyed the views.

Visited October 2012
Thank 10SWAK13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sherborne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
111 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2011

A lovely drive through and stop. The visitor centre and walk was great. A very interesting park. Overall a very good and worthwile place to visit

Visited June 2011
Thank jim_bayfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
san jose
Level Contributor
37 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“it's really the tourist fault not to see the "forest" as advertised, the park itself is wonderful”
Reviewed 1 January 2011

I saw several reviews complaining that it's not really a "forest" as the name indicates. That's apparently due to the tourists taking away a piece of petrified rock as souvenir when they visit. Supposedly, 1 ton of petrified wood goes missing every month. The photos I saw of the old petrified forest looks accurate to me.

We were very pleased with our visit to the petrified forest. There were a lot of different landscapes and the petrified wood also looked different along the trail; they got more and more colorful as we drove near the south of the trail. In the museum, there was a chart of all the petrified wood across the united states, and I would say these ones in Arizona were by far the most beautiful and colorful one. It's one of those things that become cooler the more you learn about it.

Thank tracyx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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