Discover a new national park
I would like to tell you about the history of the Petrified Forest… At first glance, one might think that there is not much to do, but I will prove you wrong in this article.
Here are 5 good reasons to come and discover the Petrified Forest!
First, a little bit of history. More than 200 million years ago, the area now called petrified forest was home to vast tropical forests. (Hard to believe, right?) The years passed and the climate continued to evolve… the weather became increasingly arid, causing the trees to die. They fell one after the other, and slowly turned into stone.
Petrified Forest National Park is minutes from I-40 and about 80km west of the New Mexico border. The road that crosses the park is 45km long from North to South.
If you’re planning to travel on Interstate 40 between Flagstaff and Albuquerque, the national park is worth a visit. Most visitors drive through the 45-kilometre park, stopping briefly at the viewpoints to take a few photos. However, I recommend that you take half a day to make the most of the beauties of the Petrified Forest, in harmony and without haste.
5 reasons to love petrified forest
- 1. Blue Mesa
This magnificent trail of about 6km round trip is a must. It takes you to the blue and white Badlands. If you have time, I advise you to walk the additional 1.5km loop that winds through the hills.
- 2. Puerco Pueblo
These are the remains of a village in Pueblo. This village was occupied around the year 1300. According to the information given by the park, this village was home to about 200 people for a total of
100 to 125 rooms.
- 3. Route 66? The dream of a lifetime
Find the famous Route 66 that once crossed the park. A vehicle from 1932 is waiting for you!
The Petrified Forest is the only park that contains a segment of the famous Route 66.
- 4. The teepees
The main road of the park promises you a change of scenery, with geological forms in teepees, hence its name.
The rock formations have red, blue, purple, gray and white colors… Raise your head all along this road so you don’t miss anything of the show. I was amazed by the beauty of these landscapes.
- 5. The views of the Painted Desert
If you’re short on time, at a minimum, be sure to stop at the
Painted Desert viewpoints that offer spectacular views of red landscapes. Viewpoints I recommend include Tiponi (just after the visitor center), Tawa, Kachina (at the Painted Desert Inn), Chinde and Nizhoni Points.
Some important information
The park is open every day, all year round. Closed on Christmas Day. * Opening hours vary throughout the year, please visit the website for hours.
Entrance fee (as of January 1, 2020):
– Per vehicle: $25 / 7-day pass. Individual
– Motorcycle: $15
PASS AMERICA IS BEAUTIFUL: $80 valid for all national parks in the USA. You can find it in all visitor information centers. Indeed it is a significant plus to save money during your stay in the United States.
Where is petrified forest?
Address: Park Road Petrified Forest, AZ
Phone Number: (928) 524-6228
If you want to get a more in-depth overview, don’t hesitate to watch this short video.
Visit the official website for more enriching information on this underrated destination!
If you enjoyed the content, if it helped you choose this destination during your American trip, let me know in the comments.
Article written by Oriane