"Petrified Forest Nat. Park - Painted Desert" Holbrook Things to Do Tip by vtveen
Holbrook Things to Do: 23 reviews and 67 photos
Painted Desert in the northern part of Petrified Forest National Park is part of a much bigger desert, which stretches from Interstate 40 in a northwest direction all the way to Lake Powell and Tuba City.
This landscape of badlands, hills, mesas and buttes is arid land, sparsely vegetated and heavily eroded. But we had never seen a desert with so many different colors. There are a lot of viewpoints along the park road; all very easy accessible. Some of them allow a view of Pilot Rock, the highest ‘mountain’ in the park. (It is said you even could see the San Francisco Mountain nearby Flagstaff.)
From one of these viewpoints (think it was Whippie Point) I made a short walk into the desert to make a better picture. There is a rim walk between Kachina Point and Tawa Point. It is also possible to do more real wilderness hiking; from Katchina Point - nearby the Painted Desert Inn - a trail leads further into the desert.
Painted Desert means a lot of colors, which are caused by minerals in the soil of the desert. The views of this stunning landscape are simply breathtaking. I highly recommend making at least a couple of stops at the viewpoints, with information boards explaining the geology and coloration.
Address: Petrified Forest National Park
Directions: Coming from the south entrance the viewpoints are on the left side of the parkroad the last couple of miles to the Painted Desert Visitor Centre (and the north entrance).
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