What is the Petrified Forest scared of?

Can you picture a subtropical forest here?

Can you picture a subtropical forest here?

The Petrified Forest National Park also encompasses parts of the painted desert.  While the Painted Desert awes you with sweeping vistas of  vibrantly colored landscapes the petrified forest  offers remnants of  a time long past.   The petrified forest is not a standing grove of rock-like trees, as the name implies. Some 225 million years ago this area was resplendent with various species of now extinct trees. Over their life they fell and accumulated in river channels, they were often buried by ash from volcanoes and they suffered the impacts of time and changing climate. I won’t attempt to explain the process where crystals of quartz replace organic matter, even if I could.  Suffice it to say the results of all this is a desert floor littered with stone log fragments, exploding with unexpectedly beautiful bright colors and patterns.

Colors abound

Colors abound

Others enjoyed the scenery with us

Others enjoyed the scenery with us

We left the Park, glad we had stopped, and headed west toward Flagstaff. We had scheduled a weeklong stay there over the 4th of July holiday. When  traveling in the RV we find holiday weekends can be crowded and busy, so we like to settle in early and stay later to avoid the weekend rush. We have lots to see in the area, including Sedona and Sunset Crater. On our way we stopped to gas up in Winslow, Arizona. It brought back memories of some great Eagles concerts we have enjoyed and spurred on lots of extemporaneous singing as we climbed the plateau into Flagstaff. Take it easy.


Well, I’m a standing on a corner
in Winslow, Arizona
and such a fine sight to see
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed
Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me….

About JudithC99

Wanderer. Writer. Artist. Photographer. Learner. Traveler of the Red Roads


  1. Diann Schultz

    Like the song quote!

  2. Lovely photos. Be well and safe travels, Ann and Jerry

  3. frankeeg

    Love the petrified forest. Many years ago I recall finding lots of small pieces of petrified wood on the coast near Wollongong Australia. The wood I found was petrified from being caught in an ancient volcanic lava flow then washed and polished by the encroaching sea…or so the geologist told me. Cheers

  4. The park is very strict about not taking any souvenirs, but local shops have plenty for sale.

  5. As many times as we travel I-40 we have yet to stop here. Beautiful photos…….we will definitely need to stop on the next time we drive by.

    • Painted desert is on one side and the petrified forest on the other and both worth the stop. We stayed in Gallup, got there early, did both parks and went on to Flagstaff from there, so it does not required days of time.

  6. Pingback: Observing the Heavens in Flagstaff « Red Road Diaries

  7. Un Bun Paisaje, Me Ha Sorprendido…

  8. These are fabulous, I have hear about this petrified forest with all its rock like trees!! Never expected them to be this colourful, lovely photos of them!

  9. Hi grreat reading your post

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