This was on our way during our move to Dallas, Texas in early 2015. We visited during the morning hours so some of the shadows are a bit long.

 

Painted Desert Petrified Forest Entrance Sign

Painted Desert Petrified Forest Entrance Sign

The Visitor Center is right off of I-40 in Arizona near the New Mexico border in Eastern Arizona. The Painted Desert Park is on the northern side of the freeway and the Petrified Forest is to the south of the freeway.

 

Painted Desert Inn

Painted Desert Inn

Going to the Painted Desert first we came across the Painted Desert Inn (pretty relevant name). This is now a national historic landmark. You can go inside and find out more from park rangers.

 

Painted Desert Panorama

Painted Desert Panorama

The Painted Desert gets its name primarily from the colors that occur around sunset. Since we travel through here in winter we got the beauty of a relatively fresh snowfall.

 

Painted Desert Winter Landscape

Painted Desert Winter Landscape

Some pictures just speak for themselves.

 

Petrified Forest Cliff Landscape

Petrified Forest Cliff Landscape

Some of the paths will lead you to some interesting sights. Since most of the landscape appears flat it’s nice to find some of the unique contours.

 

Petrified Forest Landscape

Petrified Forest Landscape

We did not spend much time in the Petrified Forest mainly due to its larger size. It could time several hours to explore all that this park has to offer.

 

Petrified Forest Petroglyphs at a Distance

Petrified Forest Petroglyphs at a Distance

It’s hard to see because of the shadows but there are petroglyphs on the rocks below. To preserve them they don’t want you to get too close. And, yes, those are our shadows in the upper right next to the telescope viewer shadows.

While this area does not have the grandeur that the Grand Canyon has, it does have many features that are interesting to visit. Worth at least a stop if you are traveling through this area.

For more information here is the website link:

http://www.nps.gov/PEFO/planyourvisit/index.htm

Painted Desert / Petrified Forest National Park

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