Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark at Kachina Point

Petrified Forest Kachina Point and Painted Desert Inn Museum

After visiting the Painted Desert Visitor Center, our third scenic overlook in the Painted Desert area of Petrified Forest National Park was Kachina Point. Kachina Point is named for the Hopi Kachinas, which are spirits of deities, natural elements, animals, or deceased ancestors.

Kachina Point is one of eight Painted Desert Overlooks in Petrified Forest National Park that also include Tiponi Point, Tawa Point, Chinde Point, Pintado Point, Nizhoni Point, Whipple Point, and Lacey Point. It is also the location of the Painted Desert Inn.

The Painted Desert Inn was originally built out of petrified wood in 1924 by entrepreneur Herbert Lore as a restaurant and inn. The building was bought by the National Park Service in 1936 and completely remodeled by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1937-1940 into the adobe building you see today. It was designed in the Pueblo Revival architecture style with detailing reflective of the patterns and motifs of local Native American cultures.

After updates by Mary Jane Colter, the Fred Harvey Company operated the inn and provided meals to travelers of historic Route 66 from 1947 to 1963 when it closed. After working with Fred Kabotie on Hopi House in Grand Canyon National Park, Colter hired him to paint the Inn’s murals too.

In 1987, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark, then in 2006, the Painted Desert Inn reopened as a museum and bookstore.

At the Painted Desert Inn, you can:

  • See exhibits and displays on the building’s history, Route 66, and the Civilian Conservation Corps.
  • Get park visitor information, maps, and free back country permits.
  • Access the Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area — one of the first wilderness areas in the National Park Service.
  • Access the Painted Desert Rim Trail, a 1.0 mile round trip walk from Kachina Point to Tawa Point and back. Several exhibits along the way provide more information about the park.

Know Before You Go

  • The Painted Desert Inn is located at Kachina Point in Petrified Forest National Park at 1 Park Rd, Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona 86028 in Apache County.
  • Download the Petrified Forest National Park Map.
  • Petrified Forest National Park actually closes! The park is open daily year-round from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. When staff permits, extended hours go into effect from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm — and they’re not kidding. The park gates actually close and rangers drive the main park road around 4:30 telling you to wrap it up and start heading out of the park.
  • The Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark Hours is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
  • The Petrified Forest landscape is an extremely dry, high altitude desert so pack lots of water, even for short day hikes, to avoid heat exhaustion.
  • Restrooms are located at the Rainbow Forest Museum and Visitor Center, Rainbow Forest Curio Shop, Painted Desert Visitor Center, Painted Desert Inn, Chinde Point, and the Puerco Pueblo.
  • Petrified Forest is pet friendly. You can bring your leashed pet any place you are allowed to go except into the buildings. Sorry! No pets in the Painted Desert Inn.
  • Removal of petrified wood or other materials is against the law. Do not collect or take home pieces of the wood from the National Park.

Many links on this site are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link and purchase the item, I may receive a small affiliate commission — it costs you nothing extra but helps me keep the lights on and the hosting for this site paid. All affiliate links on this site use "/aff/" in the URL to denote that it is an affiliate link. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” and in following the rules of the Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement. Yes, that means I am also an Amazon Associate and earn a small commission from qualifying Amazon purchases referred from links on this site.