Monday, April 1, 2013

The Petrified Forest of Arizona

The Painted Desert
Arizona is a state who's rough landscape makes for some of the most beautiful places in the Southwest. By the four corners of the state lies the Petrified Forest National Park. In the northern part of the park is the breath taking Painted Desert.

The Painted Desert region is in the Navajo Nation and they have lived here for almost 1,000 years. Most of the desert is accessible only by foot or off road vehicles. A permit is required for all back road travel in the Navajo Nation, so make sure you get one. As you can tell the Painted Desert emits beautiful colors and watching a sunset/sunrise will be one of the most unforgettable experiences in your life. 

Petrified Wood found at the park
The Painted Desert is not the only attraction in the park. The forest is know for its fossils and for the many fallen trees (Petrified Wood) that lived 225 million years ago. This is heaven for Paleontologist because they have been unearthing and studying the park's fossils since the 20th century. When you are hiking and/or backpacking through the park you may even come across an archeological dig. Evidence from the digs suggest that the earliest humans in the park arrived about 8,000 years ago. 

Petroglyphs at the park
Also scattered within the park are petroglyphs. These petroglyphs are believed to be between 500 and 2,000 years. You can make a fun game out of trying to find the most petroglyphs out of your friends. You'll be surprised how many there are. Along with the ancient petroglyphs are the ruins of pueblos that were built sometime in 1380 CE. 

When you are visiting this park you will be tempted to take home a piece of history but please refrain from stealing the petrified wood. There are gift shops in the park were you can buy petrified wood if you really want to get some. 

For Park Hours click here and for more info about the park click here 

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