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Petrified Forest National Park — Photo Collection
Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona is known for significant Late Triassic fossils and one of the largest collections of petrified wood in the world.
Collecting petrified wood became popular with tourists and commercial interests once railroad acces became available in the 1800’s.
Set aside as a National Monument in 1906 with the use of the Antiquities Act to attempt to preserve what was left, the Petrified Forest grew with the addition of part of the Painted Desert and later became a National Park in 1962.
A 28-mile paved road passes through Petrified Forest National park. It begins 19 miles from Holbrook, Arizona on Highway 180 at the south end, passes over and then connects with Highway 40 on the North end. The Visitor Center is at the north end but you can enter from either end.
The following photos feature attractions located south to north in the park which is the direction I took so that I would reach the Painted Desert later in the day hoping for the best light.
Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona
Follow a 0.4 mile loop trail behind the Rainbow Forest Museum to see the largest petrified logs in the park.
If you enter from the south this will be you first opportunity to see the petrified logs close-up.
The logs now are mostly composed of silica (quartz) with trace minerals—iron, manganese and carbon—providing the colors.
The Rainbow Forest Museum, near the south entrance, is open all year with visitor information, fossil exhibits, orientation movie, limited food service in busy season, gift shop and public restrooms.
Long Logs, a 1.6 mile loop from the Rainbow Forest Museum, is one of the largest concentrations of petrified wood in the park.
Petrified wood on Agate House Trail, 2 miles round trip from Rainbow Forest Museum past Long Logs.
Archeologists believe Agate House was built about 700 years ago as a temporary home.
Centuries of floodwater washed out an arroyo in the sandstone beneath a 110-foot long petrified log.