Petrified Forest National Park - The Real "Triassic" Park

Petrified Forest National Park – The Real "Triassic" Park

Geologic forces have pushed land from 220 millions year ago, the “Triassic” era (just before the more well-known “Jurassic” era), very close to the surface here. As the Painted Desert erodes, the fossilized artifacts from that ancient time become exposed. Most notable are the remains of a huge conifer forest which dominated the lush Triassic landscape and now literally litter the landscape as the Petrified Forest. This is the world’s largest – and absolutely most beautfiul – concentration of petrified wood. More…

Petrified Forest National Park - Fossil Discoveries in the Painted Desert

Petrified Forest National Park – The Fossil Discoveries in the Painted Desert

During the late Triassic Era, this land was humid and tropical, located near the equator. The area of the national park was a large river system with a huge conifer forest (which ultimately became the Petrified Forest). The late Triassic was the dawn of the age of the dinosaurs but it was a time when large reptiles and amphibians dominated the landscape. More…

Petrified Forest National Park - The Painted Desert Trail

Petrified Forest National Park – The Painted Desert Trail

The northern reaches of Petrified Forest National Park extend into the heart of the Painted Desert of northeast Arizona, a colorful fantasyland of mesa, buttes, and badlands. This is a designated wilderness area. A trail leads from the park road near the historic Painted Desert Inn. If you walk even a short distance, you will leave almost all the tourists behind on the busy road, and enjoy an experience of beauty and solitude. More…

Petrified Forest National Park – The Blue Mesa Trail

Petrified Forest National Park – The Blue Mesa Trail

The Blue Mesa Trail winds through very colorful badlands which are eroding out of the mesa. The predominant color of the badlands is blue due to bentonite clay present in the mesa. This is a rare coloration which is best seen early and late in the day. More…

The Wigwam Hotel, Holbrook, Arizona

Holbrook, Arizona – Gateway to the Petrified Forest

We spent a night of our brief Thanksgiving tour brought us to the Historic Route 66 town of Holbrook, Arizona. This is the town closest to Petrified Forest National Park and therefore offering various traveler services. Like most Route 66 towns it offers a variety of oddities and minor attractions… More…

About the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park

Dinosaur Tracks on the Navajo Reservation

Petrified Forest National Park is in northeast Arizona off of Interstate-40, about 25 miles east of the town of Holbrook, Arizona. The park offers some of the best and most accessible scenery of the Painted Desert which runs from the northern part of the park in a northwest direction towards Lake Powell. More good views of the Painted Desert can be found along US-89 north of Cameron, Arizona heading towards Page and Lake Powell. Additional views, as well as dinosaur tracks and fossils (photo, right) can be found by turning east on US-160. The dinosaur exhibit is just west of Tuba City.

Petrified Forest National Park also features gorgeous fields of bejeweled fossilized wood, Indian ruins, and rock art. The park's roads offer many scenic vista points. Easy nature trails take you to many points of interest. Two visitor centers provide interpretation. There is a large rock shop selling petrified wood just outside the park's south entrance. Visit Petrified Forest National Park's official website for more information.

The nearby town of Holbrook offers full services including most major motel chains, a KOA campground, and restaurants. Downtown Holbrook features a preserved section of old Route 66. Attractions within a few hours' drive include Grand Canyon National Park, Lake Powell, Oak Creek Canyon, and Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.