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Visiting Petrified Forest National Park

Updated on June 25, 2012

If you're ever driving through Arizona down I-40, it will be well worth your time to stop at the Petrified Forest National Park for a few hours. The park offers some great sights, most that you can enjoy from your car or a short walk.

Painted Deserts

My favorite part of the park is the view of the Painted Deserts from the Blue Mesa. The the rolling rock and sand look like waves of red, brown, and orange that go out as far as the eye can see. The landscape is so unusual you feel like you're on Mars.

Further along in the park, hieroglyphics and giant pieces of petrified wood hint at times long past. You can see a lot of this from your car but short trails throughout the park allow you to get a closer view.

Petrified Wood

Petrified wood is a type of fossil that resulted from a tree. The tree has become stone through a process called permineralization. This means the organic material of the plant has been completely replaced by minerals. Coloring of the petrified wood depends on the type of mineral. Petrified wood is an unusual fossil because it is not an impression or compression. It is an actually representation of the tree. It takes less than 100 years for plant stem tissue to petrify.

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    • bankscottage profile image

      bankscottage 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Great pictures. We wanted to go when we were in Flagstaff a few weeks ago but it was too far of a drive for the short time we were there. So many things to do, so little time.

    • brenda12lynette profile image
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      brenda12lynette 5 years ago from Utah

      I know the feeling bankscottage. It will always be there for next time!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have never been to Arizona....maybe through the corner on the way somewhere else. Great pictures and a wonderful hub!

    • brenda12lynette profile image
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      brenda12lynette 5 years ago from Utah

      Thanks again billybuc! Arizona has some great desert scenery you'd enjoy.

    • profile image

      Jade0215 5 years ago

      I haven't been to Arizona either but would love to go someday. Always wanted to see the desert, it looks pretty. Great hub!

    • brenda12lynette profile image
      Author

      brenda12lynette 5 years ago from Utah

      Thanks Jade0215!! Despite the heat, the desert is some of my favorite scenery.

    • profile image

      Jade0215 5 years ago

      Yeah I feel you on that one. 104 here in Texas which I see you're from as well, don't think I'd like the heat in Arizona too much. Way too hot! lol

    • brenda12lynette profile image
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      brenda12lynette 5 years ago from Utah

      I will say I'd rather visit the desert during the cooler months and escape to the mountains during the summer. The heat has started picking up here, too! It's brutal!

    • profile image

      Jade0215 5 years ago

      Definitely, the fall sounds good to me for the desert , maybe even winter! lol. It's just the beginning of summer and the heat is horrible, not sure I want to know what next month will be like.

    • brenda12lynette profile image
      Author

      brenda12lynette 5 years ago from Utah

      Fortunately I'm leaving for a few weeks next month so I hope I get to miss some of the worst of it.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi brenda, I saw a petrified tree in yellowstone park and thought it fascinating!

      How I would love to visit here, great pictures and interesting article.

      Thank you and voted up

    • brenda12lynette profile image
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      brenda12lynette 5 years ago from Utah

      Thanks Movie Master! It's well worth the visit!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Brenda,

      Such spectacular colors in that petrified wood! Just added a link from this hub to my latest one titled The Grand Canyon + 2 other Spectacular National Parks in Arizona. Will make a nice addition to the Petrified Forest National Park part of it. Voted useful and interesting.

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