The Painted Desert in Arizona: See Stunning Photos and Videos
The Painted Desert
This author has been fortunate enough to have traveled roads in the Arizona desert several times. At times it was with family members and another time with a good friend from Germany.
This post goes hand in hand with another one written about the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, which goes more into depth. Why do these two posts go together, you might inquire? The reason is that the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest National Park merge. If a person is going to see one of the spectacular scenic areas, both will be seen as a matter of course.
Splitting these articles into two separate ones was decided upon so as not to have either one of them get too long.
Photos included come from an older 35-millimeter camera that I had at the time. No special lenses or filters were used. Aptly named, the colors one sees in the Painted Desert are incredible, and in the vernacular of younger folks today, "truly awesome!"
Painted Desert ImagesClick thumbnail to view full-size
What to See and Do in The Painted Desert
- At the north end of the park, the Painted Desert Visitor Center offers a 17-minute film showing how wood becomes petrified.
- There is a 27 mile (43 kilometers) drive that takes one through the park. People can stop at frequent pullouts to gaze at the wonder of the various colors of the rock formations and dunes and take pictures if desired.
- In two different areas, one can start wilderness hiking and camp with backpacks. A free permit must be secured if planning to camp.
- At the southern end of the park is the Rainbow Forest Museum, which also serves as a visitor center. Inside the museum, it portrays human habitation stories within this area, geological history, and exhibits of the petrified wood.
- The Painted Desert Inn Museum at Kachina Point was built in the 1920s and renovated by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930s. It became a National Historic Landmark in 1987. One can begin walking in the wilderness area right behind this inn.
Both of these visitor centers can accommodate one's needs for restroom facilities, water, maps, weather information, permits, and the like.
No water is available within the park, so one must transport all one needs to stay hydrated. Remember this is a desert country and it can be quite unforgiving. Recommendations are that once a person has used up less than one-half of one's water supply, it is good to start a return trip to remain safe.
East of Holbrook, the northern entrance, is accessed off Interstate 40, and the southern entrance is off of highway 180 in the northeastern quadrant of the State of Arizona.
Native Americans in Arizona
Arizona has some nineteen million acres set aside that are reservations for fourteen different Native American tribes who live there. These lands belong to them, and one must abide by their rules. In some instances, photography is not allowed.
Most Native Americans are proud to display and sell their artwork consisting of tapestries, pottery, jewelry, etc.
Just north (and a small portion east) of the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest National Park is a large Navajo Indian Reservation. A Hopi Indian Reservation is in the center of the Navajo Indian lands, and the two reservations adjoin one another.
South of the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park is the Fort Apache Indian Reservation and the San Carlos Indian Reservation.
If one has some extra time and wishes to find out about Native American culture, Arizona offers one many choices in which to explore.
Have you seen or would you like to see the Painted Desert in Arizona?
To see much more of the Painted Desert, including what is inside the visitor's center, watch the beautiful video below. The filming took place in various lighting conditions.
The Painted Desert adjoins the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2009 Peggy Woods