Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
Yes
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

First registered as a claim under the Homestead Act in 1924, the Stone Tree House was an inn, restaurant, trading post and tour headquarters just north of Petrified Forest National Monument. It must have been a challenging business to run--water needed to be hauled in from 10 miles away, for example. Originally built of petrified wood blocks, the building was completely renovated in the late 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps under the direction of the highly-regarded architect of the Pueblo Revival Style, Lyle Bennet, and renamed to the Painted Desert Inn.

For about two years, the Painted Desert Inn was a notable stop on Route 66 for food, lodging and artifacts. But World War II curtailed much travel and the inn closed for five years. From the late 1940s to early 1960s, the inn was operated by Fred Harvey, the famed inn keeper of the Southwest.

After Fred Harvey closed operations at the inn, the building was vacant for decades while the debate went on about demolition versus renovation. Luckily the preservationists won, and today we can appreciate the often-restored structure and its many treasures on display: the old-time soda fountain, the marvelous Hopi murals by noted artist Fred Kabotie, the traditional blanket patterns in the concrete floors, and the hand-painted skylight panels. There are usually park volunteers on hand providing excellent historical commenary. Nearby there are fabulous views from the Kachina Point overlook and the Painted Desert Rim Trail.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Pros

Beautiful building. Great views. Historically significant.

Cons

None.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

ADA accessible
Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Potable water
Picnic tables
Historically significant
Big vistas

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

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