Walks: Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

Petrified Forest National Park is in northeastern Arizona. In its south, the Rainbow Forest is full of colorful petrified wood. It’s home to the Rainbow Forest Museum, with its paleontology exhibits and many trail access points. In the park’s center are the petroglyphs of Newspaper Rock and the ruined village of Puerco Pueblo. To the north, the Painted Desert Inn, a 1930s adobe building, is a museum with Hopi murals. 

Petrified Forest National Park contains the petrified remains of 225 million-year-old trees from the Late Triassic Period. Surrounding the petrified wood are millions of years of deposition, uplift, and erosion, creating the Chinle Formation. This rock formation creates the red hues of the Painted Desert and the blue tones of the Blue Mesa region. Petrified Forest is situated near the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau with elevations ranging from 5300 feet to 6235 feet. It was the uplift of the Colorado Plateau, starting about 60 million years ago, and the erosion that followed and continues today, which carved the present landscape.

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