"Desert with Preserved Wood and colorful hills" Top 5 Page for this destination Petrified Forest National Park by BruceDunning

Region of sites in area

In the midst of the Hopi and Navajo reservations, this painted desert has some of the more colorful scenes to enjoy and take pictures of.

Petrified Wood Details

The petrified wood is fantastic to look at not only for the wonder of how these logs ended up on the top of the ground, and the various color mixes; all brilliant and bright and a Nature magic trick. Minerals from other sources leech into the wood and that replaces the wood fiber cellulose materials and being buried draws out the oxygen which is the petrification process. That process over many years has the minerals in the earth replace harden inside the wood tree which the outer form remains intact, and the minerals colors then become prominate. The core mineral is silicate/quartz and the others mostly magnesium, copper, iron and zinc

Map of the park

The park is comprised of 50,000 acres and it sprawls in a north/south boundary. It has 27 miles of road throughout. The only exit to access I40 is #311, which requires a drive around the north section of the park before being able to get to the exit, or getting off and go the other way. There are 8 view overlooks, most in the north sector, and 8 places to hike and see the interior more.
The best way to see it all and avoid double back of driving is to start at Hwy 180 in the south and head north to all the stops; or alternatively exit I40 highway and see the northerly sites, and then head south to Hwy 180 and wrap around to go back to Holbrook which is east about 26 miles.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:This was a surprising delightful visits and so much color
  • Cons:Too many of meandering tourists and pilerage of wood
  • In a nutshell:The park has a variety of sites-petrified wook, Indian ruins, and colorful mountains
  • Last visit to Petrified Forest National Park: Sep 2009
  • Intro Updated Oct 18, 2009
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Reviews (12)

Comments (12)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    Some folks would just drive past this place, but not us..lol! We finally stopped and what a unique beautiful landscapes. I enjoyed your page!

    • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
      Apr 7, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      Thanks for your rating. this is one place I did not imagine would be out in the remote desert area-it was wonderful and had many treasures of color

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo
    Dec 7, 2010 at 3:42 PM

    I have thought of visiting this area, but after reading your tips, it sounds even more interesting. The painted desert is also beautiful, and I didn't know it was even there. Thanks for the great page.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Nov 16, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    Really enjoyed your tips about the Petrified Forest National Park. I've never been there so I was especially fascinated. Excellent photographs.

  • DennyP's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2010 at 5:31 PM

    Wonderful page Bruce on this part of the country...great informative tips with good pics..I was there some years and haven't been able to get a site on here to put them..Thanx also for visiting my Uluru page..

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    Fine photos and interesting explanations! It's always amazing to think about how all those different minerals leech into the wood and replace the wood fiber cellulose materials. Then all it takes is a few hundred years without oxygen to finish the job.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2010 at 3:26 AM

    Nice page! Wonderful colours in the landscape and the petrified logs, would be very interesting to see.

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    Nice page! Excellent information on petrification, and descriptions. Also great directions! Thanks for sharing -- I'd love to visit this park some day.

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Dec 22, 2009 at 4:30 AM

    I reckon I'd really enjoy a visit here. Spectacular scenery and some interesting geology, mixed with history: not a bad combination.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Dec 9, 2009 at 11:50 AM

    We passed through here some years ago but didn't have time to see anything like as much as you. I love your Painted Desert shots especially!

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Nov 6, 2009 at 2:42 AM

    Stunning landscapes! Thanks for the wonderful virtual tour.


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