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The Petrified Forest National Park of Arizona

Petrified Forest National Park is an Arizona park located in the central-eastern desert part of the state, about 20 miles east of the town of Holbrook, near the border with New Mexico.

The park extends over a desert area of 378 sq km formed largely by territory pertaining to the Painted Desert. In this area there is one of the best known and largest concentrations of petrified wood in the United States. The park’s petrified trunks date back to the Triassic period, between 205 and 225 million years ago, the park area is rich in fossils and prehistoric sites.

The northern part of the park is formed by the Painted Desert, in this area there are visible outcrops of stratified soil that dates back to the upper Triassic. In the southern section there are most of the petrified trunks and numerous prehistoric settlements with Indian rock carvings.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS: WHAT TO VISIT IN THE PETRIFIED FOREST NATIONAL PARK

The road through the park is 28 miles long to which you can add another 3.5 miles of the Blue Mesa circular route. In general, the visit to the park takes an average of 2-5 hours. Along the way there are numerous stopping points from where you can admire the rock and geological formations in the park.

Starting from the entrance located along Interstate 40 we find the Painted Desert Visitor Center, Tiponi Point, Tawa Point, Kachina Point and the Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark, Chinde Point, Pintado Point, Nizhoni Point, Whipple Point, Lacey Point, Puerco Pueblo, Newspaper Rock, The Tepees, the Blue Mesa circular route, Agate Bridge, Jasper Forest, Crystal Forest, Long Logs, Agate House, the Rainbow Forest Museum and Giant Logs.

In several of these points there are also short walking routes such as the Painted Desert Rim (between Tawa Point and Kachina Point), Puerco Pueblo, Blue Mesa, Crystal Forest, Giant Logs, Long Logs and Agate House.

PETRIFIED FOREST: HOW TO GET THERE

Car: Coming from Phoenix you can use two different routes: Take Interstates 17 North and 40 East, passing through Flagstaff (259 miles); or take Highways 87 North to Payson, 260 East to Heber, 377 North to Holbrook, and 180 South to the park (215 miles). Coming from Albuquerque (New Mexico), take Interstate 40 west to exit 311 (204 miles).

Petrified Forest National Park has two entrances, one north (North Entrance) along Interstate 40 and another south entrance (South Entrance) along Highway 180.

Visitors can enter through an entrance and exit through the opposite entrance. The closest city to the park is Holbrook, and this is where the hotels to be used for visiting the park are located.

Plane: The closest airports are located in Phoenix (Arizona) and Albuquerque (New Mexico).

PETRIFIED FOREST: USEFUL INFORMATION

Hours: The park is open all year from 8:00 am to 17:00 pm, it is closed on Christmas day.

Tickets: The entrance ticket costs $ 10.00 per vehicle and also includes all vehicle passengers. The entrance fee for those arriving without a vehicle (on foot, by bicycle) is $ 5.00 per person. The ticket is valid for 7 days.

Petrified Forest National Park services available: The Painted Desert Visitor Center and the Rainbow Forest Museum are open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark (museum) is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm all year round. Inside the park there are no hotels and campsites and no other type of accommodation for the night, in the towns around the park you can find all kinds of accommodation.

THE CLIMATE OF THE PETRIFIED FOREST: WHEN TO GO

The climate of the Petrified Forest National Park is desert-like, but very variable throughout the year. Summers are hot with thunderstorms between July and September, the average maximum temperatures are above 32 ° C between June and August. The winters, due to the height (over 1,500 meters above sea level) can be quite cold and sometimes snow can fall, the average minimum temperatures are below zero from November to March. The intermediate seasons, spring and autumn, can be hot or cold, with sudden changes in weather conditions during the day. The annual average rainfall is just over 200 mm.

THE CLIMATE OF THE PETRIFIED FOREST: CLIMATE TABLES

HOLBROOK (1549 meters)
MonthAverage low (°C)Average high (°C)Precip. (mm)Precip. days
January-7814
February-51213
March-21614
April12110
May5267
June10327
July153334
August143238
September102925
October 22318
November-31514
December-7814
YEAR208

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