Blue Mesa, Painted Desert, Petriefied Forest, Route 66, the big names keep coming.  Let’s explore Petrified Forest National Park!

What Does Petrified Forest Mean?

What Does Petrified Forest Mean?

Petrified trees form after they get washed down a river and buried under layers of mud or ash from volcanoes as well as other materials. Once the tree is sealed beneath this it becomes deprived of oxygen and cannot decay.  As a result of this natural process, millions of years later a petrified tree exists.  At Petrified Forest National Park you’re guaranteed to see thousands of these fascinating trees.

What is Special about the Petrified Forest?

What is special about the Petrified Forest?

Firstly, examples of millions of years of petrification is certainly impressive.  If the history and geology doesn’t fascinate you then the visual aspect of this US National Park certainly will.  A view which certainly grabbed my attention were the petrified trees with the painted mountains as a backdrop.  Additionally, be sure to take a close up look at the petrified trees as the detail is amazing.  Lastly, macro photographers will love photographing the petrified trees with millions of years of unique detail packed in there.

Painted Desert Rim Trail

Painted Desert, Petrified Forest National Park

The Northern edge of the park includes the Painted Desert Visitor Center and Painted Desert Rim Trail.  Park up your hire car and take this mile long trail for spectacular views of the Painted Desert.

Crystal Forest Trail

Crystal Forest Trail, Petrified Forest National Park

Park your hire car in the parking lot and walk the Crystal Forest Trail.  Crystal Forest gets its name from the sparkling crystals that can be found in the logs.  Remember you’re visiting at your own pace therefore spend as little or as long as you want here.  Lastly, this easy trail is less than a mile long.

Giant Logs Trail

Giant Logs Trail, Petrified Forest National Park

This trail is named after the giant petrified logs that sit around it.  As a matter of fact the widest log in the park is found here along this short trail.  Similarly to the top spot in Yellowstone Park, the largest log is named Old Faithful.  It’s a massive 10 feet wide and certainly worth parking up your hire car to see.

Blue Mesa Trail

Blue Mesa Trail

A walk through the mile long Blue Mesa Trail will transport you to another planet.  Certainly, I’ve never seen anywhere like this before on earth.  Hike through these colorful badland hills and of course view more of the petrified trees.  Before I chat about the top Instagram spot I’m sure some readers are inspired to visit from the picture above.  Lastly, with your own hire car and schedule there’s nothing stopping you from visiting this viewpoint during golden hour.

Top Instagram Spot

Top Instagram Spot - Petrified Forest National Park

Ladies, bring a couple of colorful dresses and pose for pictures with a painted desert panoramic background.  Additionally, this would be a good place to take a picture with a loved one as well as a family photo.  There are rocks which stick out and overlook Blue Mesa.  Alternatively, walk through the at the base with the colorful desert hills rising behind you.  Whether you visit to take pictures or not, Blue Mesa is certainly reason enough on its own to explore the Petrified Forest National Park.

Route 66 Old Car

Route 66 old car by Petrified Forest National Park

At the southern end of the National Park is a classic 1932 Studebaker.  Certainly a stop which car lovers will appreciate.  In contrast, I’m sure booking your car through KAYAK rewarded you with a better class of car than this one!

Enjoy Your Petrified Forest National Park Visit

Enjoy Your Petrified Forest National Park Visit

Exploring Petrified Forest National Park through KAYAK gives you the freedom to visit for as long as you want and at the exact time of day you want.  Additionally, you can find a nearby hotel in a price range you’re comfortable with.  All you need to do now is appreciate the out of this world views which this unique National Park offers.

Visiting more US National Parks?  Read about Crater Lake, Yellowstone National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Mount Rushmore and Olympic National Park.