If you have a horse, you're more than welcome to explore of the backcountry of Petrified Forest National Park, though you'll need to come prepared.
The park offers diverse riding and packing opportunities in the Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area. Park officials have established the following rules for horse use in the park:
· When using parking areas, please leave room for other visitors to park.
· Park your trailer so that it does not interfere with vehicle traffic flow.
· Follow all park regulations.
· Clean up after horses in improved areas (parking lots, paved areas, etc).
· All food and water must be packed in. Feed must be certified weed-free.
· Do not leave horses unattended, to prevent encounters with other park visitors. Free-trailing or loose-herding is not permitted. Horses are prohibited on paved trails, paved roads and around visitor use areas.
· Water for horses may be obtained at the service station by the Painted Desert Visitor Center. No water is available in the wilderness area.
· Animals are limited to six (6) per group.
The trail down to the northern unit of the wilderness area can be very steep with an unstable surface. While there are no maintained trails in the wilderness areas, there is very little grade change and riding is easy.
Petrified wood is sharp and can cause damage to stock hooves. Take care of yourself, your stock, and your park.