Petrified Forest National Park and The Painted Desert, AZ

Winslow, Arizona

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A visit to northeast Arizona’s 147-square-mile Petrified Forest National Park is a fascinating trip back in time. Despite the name, don’t expect to find a forest: The semiarid desert and shortgrass prairie landscape contains little vegetation. The main attraction: the remains of what was a forest some 225 million years ago and is now petrified wood, some of it small, brightly colored chips, and some of it enormous prone logs. Here millions of years of erosion have sculpted the sandstone, shale, and clay into colorful pastel layers, many of which reveal fossils of animals that lived millions of years ago. Continuing research reveals fossils of reptiles. amphibians, and early dinosaurs of the Triassic period. This eTrail is one complete vacation written with families in mind. It’s loaded with exciting things to do, family-friendly places to lodge and dine, recommended side trips, local sources of information, and detailed travel directions.
Great Family Vacations: West

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Great Family Vacations: West

by Candyce H. Stapen (The Globe Pequot Press)

A visit to northeast Arizona’s 147-square-mile Petrified Forest National Park is a fascinating trip back in time. Despite the name, don’t expect to find a forest: The semiarid desert and shortgrass prairie landscape contains little vegetation. The main attraction: the remains of what was a forest some 225 million years ago and is now petrified wood, some of it small, brightly colored chips, and some of it enormous prone logs.

Here millions of years of erosion have sculpted the sandstone, shale, and clay into colorful pastel layers, many of which reveal fossils of animals that lived millions of years ago. Continuing research reveals fossils of reptiles. amphibians, and early dinosaurs of the Triassic period. This eTrail is one complete vacation written with families in mind. It’s loaded with exciting things to do, family-friendly places to lodge and dine, recommended side trips, local sources of information, and detailed travel directions.

©  Candyce H. Stapen/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Winslow
Duration: Up to a week's worth of fun.
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: All contact information for attractions, dining, and lodging are provided in the eTrail.
Driving Directions: Directions to Petrified Forest National Park & The Painted Desert, AZ

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May 2018