The Painted Desert, Arizona And The Pertrified Forest

If you are traveling across Arizona on Interstate 40 between the towns of Holbrook and Gallup, New Mexico you will pass through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest.Make plans to spend at least one day at these National Parks to see some of the mostspectacular wonders that only Mother Nature can create.

If you are travelig across Arizona on Interstate 40 between the towns of Holbrook and Gallup, New Mexico you will pass between the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest.

Make plans to spend at least one day at these National Parks to see some of the most spectacular wonders that only Mother Nature can create.

The Petrified Forest was created during the Age of Dinosaurs. This is probably the largest concentration of brightly colored petrified wood in the world. When you go into the petrified forest, it's not like walking into a normal forest it is more like walking into the desert. Most of the forest is still buried under the sand, and only some small parts have been revealed to the surface either by erosion or intentionally by men. It is believed that the Petrified Forest was created during a flood millions of years ago.



It is illegal to remove any petrified wood from the National Park grounds.

Nevertheless, many people decide to take small pieces home with them. You can buy small pieces of the wood at the gift shops outside the park. These specimens have been mined from privately owned lands outside the park, and many have been cut and polished for you already.

The Painted Desert derives it's name from the colorful rocks that are characteristic of the Chinle Formation. Chinle Formations are highly stratified hills and colorful sands. These formations were deposited about 220 to 225 million years ago near the end of the Triassic Period of the Mesozoic Era. Various combinations of minerals and decayed plant and animal matter contribute to the various colors.

The two parks are continually changing as water and wind erorde the area and shift the sediment causing lower layers of fossil and petrified wood to surface. As the erosion occurs scientists see evidence of the many marine life specimens that lived in this area in prehistoric time. Several types of fossilization took place in the Petrified Forest; most of the wood and bones were petrified, or turned to stone.

There is a museum inside the Park which is very educational. Here you will learn all about the Petrified Forest and the Painted desert. There is plenty to look at and experience. There is also a showcase of petrified wood that people have removed from the park, but have sent back with letters stating the bad luck they have had ever since they removed it.

Visiting these two National Parks is a wonderful experience that everyone should enjoy. Make a day of it and check it all out.

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