The Petrified Forest National Park is really two parks in one, the Painted Desert at the North end and the Rainbow Forest at the South end. The park covers over 93,533 acres and consists of six separate "forests" That took over 200 million years to form.
There are excellent loop hikes in order to explore the many fascinating sights of natural log bridges, crystals and logs along with the many colors of the layered rocks and hills of the Painted Desert.
Ancestral Dinosaur Fossil Discovered
Fossilized bones of "Gertie," a small ancestor of the huge tyrannosaurus were discovered near Chinde Point, among the fallen trees of the Petrified Forest.At the time of the discovery, in 1985, the bones were the most ancient known to science, at some 225 million years old. Since her discovery, Gertie tentatively has been identified as a Staurikosaur. These meat-eating creatures were small; just 7 to 8 feet long, and about 150 pounds. Following studies by paleontologists, Gertie's fossilized bones will be displayed at Petrified Forest.
Petrified Forest National Park
Painted Desert Visitor Center: Join a Ranger talk in the sunroom - check activity boards for topic.
Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark: Learn about the Inns architectural and historic evolution. Meet inside the Painted Desert Inn for this Ranger guided tour.
Puerco Pueblo: Explore the early Puebloan culture along the Puerco River. Meet at the Puerco Pueblo parking lot trailhead for this Ranger guided walk.
Rainbow Forest Museum: Join a Ranger talk in the sunroom - check activity board for topic.
Triassic Park: How did these trees turn to stone? Find out on this easy Ranger-guided walk along the Giant Logs Trail. Meet in the Rainbow Forest Museum sunroom.
Printed by permission Petrified Forest National Park; Michele Hellickson, Superintendent
Prehistoric Man In the Petrified Forest
Research at Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area
Hints for touring Petrified Forest National Park
Short Grass Prairie at Petrified Forest National Park
Holbrook, City of the Petrified Forest
Hubbell Trading Post, National Historic Site