This past weekend I had the opportunity to explore one of our nation’s most unique national parks, Petrified Forest. PFNP is located in a desert area called The Painted Desert in northeastern Arizona. The Painted Desert gets its name from mineral deposits like iron and manganese. These deposits have left much of the desert painted with colorful soil and rock formations.
Within the Painted Desert lies the Petrified Forest National Park. PFNP itself lies in an ancient and very large river system. Dying trees would float downstream causing log jams and many of the forest locations throughout the park are the junctions where these jams took place.
Today, the park protects less than 30% of petrified wood in the area. If you’re visiting the desert southwest, PFNP is a must-see. There’s a great 28 mile scenic route that connects many easy, short paved pathways and trails. I’d recommend checking out Blue Mesa, Puerco Pueblo, Crystal Forest, Agate House, Long Logs and Giant Logs.