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Petrified Forest National Park

"Trees turned to stone" is one description of the Petrified Forest National Park. In 1906 various forests were selected, purchased and set aside as the Petrified Forest National Monument. Over the years the park expanded and in 1962 the Monument became a National Park. Visitors will be pleased to find the Park currently includes part of the Painted Desert, Indian Ruins, and Petroglyphs. The Petrified Trees were former Schilderia, Woodworthia, and Araucaria trees.

Location: Northeastern Arizona, approx. 18-20 miles east of Holbrook, Arizona between I-40 and Highway 180. From Phoenix approx. 4.5-5 hours. Please note times will vary depending on conditions and route.

Please note: it is ILLEGAL to remove Petrified Wood from the Park. Stiff fines and penalties will result. For visitors desiring to acquire Petrified Wood, park concessions and shops near the park (Holbrook) sell Petrified Wood. Vehicles are subject to search.

Painted Desert Visitor Center: Film and exhibits

Tiponi Point: Painted Desert View Point

Tawas and Kachina Points and Rim Trail: View Points of the Painted Desert. Kachina Point is the Jumpoff point for the Onyx Bridge Hike. (4 miles round trip) to see a Petrified Log which spans a small wash.

Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark: Built in 1924 and located at Tawas Point. Renovated by CCC in the 1930's

Chinde Point: Painted Desert View Point

Pintado Point: Painted Desert View Point

Nizhoni Point: Painted Desert View Point

Whipple Point: Painted Desert View Point

Lacey Point: Painted Desert View Point

Puerco Pueblo: One of the Pre-Colombian Ruins found inside the Park. It is a 100 room pueblo. Petroglyphs are present. When the Spaniards arrived in the 1500's this was abandoned.

Newspaper Rock: Boulders covered with petroglyphs. Note: Binoculars are recommended here as visitors are not permitted to get close to the Petroglyphs. A viewing point/station was present as of this writing.

The Tepees: Multi-hued/colored formations inside the park. The colors are caused by minerals such as manganese, and iron. Cap is usually clay. Dark layers have high Carbon content. Some of the reddish colors are due to iron oxide.

Blue Mesa and Blue Mesa Trail: Three mile loop road with views, log falls, and a pedestal log. Trail goes into the Badlands.

Agate Bridge: A petrified log spanning a small chasm. Note this has been stabilized.

Jasper Forest: More Petrified logs

Crystal Forest: 3/4 mile loop (1.4/1/5 kilometer loop) Here cracks in the petrified logs once held clear and purple (amethyst) quartz crystals.

Long Logs: Easy 1/2 mile ( .9/1 kilometer) trail through a large concentration of Petrified Wood.

Agate House: Trail to a Pre-Colombian Ruin which has been partially restored. The ruin is built of Petrified Wood. Approx. .8 mile.

Rainbow Forest Museum: Exhibits on Petrified Wood and other items including a Phytosaur (ancient croc) which used to live in the area.

Giant Logs: Enter at the Rainbow Forest Museum. The parks longest log is located here. Short paved trail with a few stairs. Just under 1/2 mile.

Photography: For those wanting good pictures of the Painted Desert, early morning and evening hours (before the sun goes down) seem to bring out the best hues.

Climate: Keep in mind this is high desert. Summer time temperatures can easily exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) Carry sufficient water! Watch for lightning and flash floods.


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