The petrified forest area was designated a National Monument in 1906. The Painted Desert was added later, and in 1962 the whole monument received National Park status. Theft of petrified wood has remained a problem in spite of protection, and of the fact that nearby vendors offer wood collected legally from private land.
Hiking opportunities are limited. The longest trail in the park extends for only two miles; the others are one mile or less. However, a road does extend through much of the park. Landmarks include the Agate House, built of petrified wood, and the Agate Bridge, a petrified log spanning a wash.
Newspaper Rock petroglyph site