Spotlight on Petrified Forest National Park, USA


             Petrified Forest National Park is located in Eastern Arizona, just off and straddling Interstate 10.  This park preserves many excellent examples of petrified wood, trees which have been buried, mineralized, and subsequently uplifted.  The park also contains colorful badlands known as the Painted Desert.  This striking landscape extends beyond the boundaries of the park.  The 45 km (28-mile) scenic drive through the park offers many opportunities for stopping to observe and take pictures of the geological features.  In addition there are numerous trails for walking to get up-close and personal. 

            There are numerous, excellent overlooks which are well-marked along the drive. Particularly beautiful spots include Kachina Point and Pintado Point.

            Another eastern Arizona attraction which can be conveniently combined with a trip to the Petrified Forest is Canyon de Chelly National Park, near Chinle, AZ. It preserves an area inhabited by Native Americans from possibly as long ago as 2500 B.C. to the present. The park, which is near the New Mexico border, in northeastern Arizona, can be accessed from both states. Scenic drives are found along both sides of the canyon and offer overlooks at the ruins. Descent into the ruins requires accompaniment by a Park Ranger or an authorized guide, except for one self-guiding trail from the White House Overlook to the White House Ruin. Other ruins include Antelope House, Standing Cow, and Mummy Cave.


            Gary’s Gem: 

                        While in Petrified Forest National Park, take the short but impressive Giant Logs Trail near the Rainbow Forest Museum to see some great specimens of petrified wood.


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