Know Before You Go
For experienced backpackers, get a backcountry hiking and camping permit from the National Park Service at the ranger station, which allows parking at the trailhead and overnight tent camping at least a mile or two into the wilderness area. However, these are limited and may not be available at all times of the year. Visitors who wish to see the night sky can find opportunities to visit the park after dark by checking the website for a schedule of ranger-led astronomy programs.
If you are traveling along Interstate 40 and wish to drive through the park in a single day, the shortest route depends on your direction of travel. Eastbound, get onto the 180 from the Flagstaff area. Then take exit 285 (which will look like an intersection) north into the park, and the road through the park will end at the 40. Traveling westbound, take exit 311 from the 40, and the road will loop north briefly before turning south. Continue west on the 180 until it returns to the 40.