The Petrified Forest National Park is named for the fossilized trees that visitors can find around the entire area. Many of the trees are from the Late Triassic Period, more than 225 million years ago. You walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs when you visit the petrified forest. 

We suggest that you start your trip at the south end of the park at the Rainbow Forest Museum. The museum will take you through the geological facts of the petrified wood found throughout the park and take you back in time with exhibits of prehistoric animals. 

After visiting the museum, walk the giant logs and crystal forest tails. Both of these trails are under a mile long, paved, and offer an up-close-and-personal look at the petrified wood located throughout the park. 

For a longer hike, 2.6 miles, combine the long logs trail and the agate house trail. The long logs trail will take you through the largest concentration of petrified wood in the park, and the agate house trail takes you to a small pueblo home built about 700 years ago. 

Then, drive about an hour through the park to the Painted Desert Visitor’s Center where you can get petrified wood  souvenirs, grab a bite to eat, and also talk to a park ranger about the area. From the visitor’s center, you can walk the 1 mile Painted Desert Rim Trail to see spectacular views of the painted desert. 

Petrified Log Section Photograph by Moondigger; Painted Desert Photograph by W. Bulach; Petrified Forest Log Photograph by Pixabay


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NASA view of Meteor Crater



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