"Scenics - Old Highway 180 and Petrified Wood" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Petrified Forest

National Park - Arizona

Petrified Forest National Park is in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. Named for its large deposits of petrified wood, the park covers about 230 square miles (600 square kilometers), encompassing semi-desert shrub steppe as well as highly eroded and colorful badlands.

maps

Official Visitor Map of Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Petrified Forest - Visitor Map

Official Visitor Map of Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Apache and Navaja County Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).AZ Surface Management Responsibility - Apache and Navaja County

Apache and Navaja County Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Statewide Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).AZ Surface Management Responsibility - Arizona State

Statewide Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

brochures

Trip Planner to Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Petrified Forest - Guide 2020

Trip Planner to Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Brochure Geology and the Painted Desert of Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Petrified Forest - Geology and the Painted Desert

Brochure Geology and the Painted Desert of Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Brochure Triassic Dinosaurs and Other Animals at Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Petrified Forest - Triassic Dinosaurs and Other Animals

Brochure Triassic Dinosaurs and Other Animals at Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Archeology Brochure of Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Petrified Forest - Archeology

Archeology Brochure of Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Messages on Stone - a Petroglyph brochure for Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Petrified Forest - Messages on Stone

Messages on Stone - a Petroglyph brochure for Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Brochure Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark at Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Petrified Forest - Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark

Brochure Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark at Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Brochure Route 66 - America's Mainstreet at Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Petrified Forest - Route 66 - America's Mainstreet

Brochure Route 66 - America's Mainstreet at Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

History of Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Petrified Forest - History

History of Petrified Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Animals at Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Petrified Forest - Animals

Animals at Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Plants at Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Petrified Forest - Plants

Plants at Forest National Park (NP) in Arizona. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/pefo/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrified_Forest_National_Park Petrified Forest National Park is in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. Named for its large deposits of petrified wood, the park covers about 230 square miles (600 square kilometers), encompassing semi-desert shrub steppe as well as highly eroded and colorful badlands. Park Hours: 8am to 5pm, MST No reservations needed. Visitors & staff must wear a mask to enter any public building, including the visitor center, even if vaccinated. Did you know that Petrified Forest is perfect for exploration and discovery? While the park has all the wonders known for a century, there are many new adventures and discoveries to share. Come rediscover Petrified Forest! Petrified Forest stretches north/south between I-40 and Hwy 180. There are two entrances into the park.*** ***WESTBOUND I-40***Travelers should take Exit 311, drive 28 miles through the park to Hwy 180 at the south end. Travel 19 miles to return to I-40 via Holbrook.*** ***EASTBOUND I-40***Travelers should take Exit 285 into Holbrook then travel 19 miles on Hwy 180 to the park's south entrance. Drive 28 miles north through the park to return to I-40. Painted Desert Visitor Center Painted Desert Visitor Center is located at exit #311 off of I-40. The center provides information, brochures, book sales, exhibits, and restrooms. A gift shop and convenience store are adjacent to the visitor center. It is part of the Painted Desert Community Complex which is on the National Register of Historic Places. This is the only place you can obtain a permit for Devil's Playground. Take Exit #311 off I-40. Rainbow Forest Museum Rainbow Forest Museum provides exhibits of petrified wood, fossils, and displays of prehistoric animals as well as information, book sales, and restrooms. From Holbrook, AZ take Hwy 180 South 18 miles, then 2 miles on the park road north. From I-40 Westbound take Exit 311 and drive through Petrified Forest National Park for 26 miles. Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area Sunlit Painted Desert hills of the Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area Sunrise and sunset are favorite times to view the colorful Painted Desert of the Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark Sunset lights up the Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark west side. Sunset lights up the Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark west side. Agate House Sunlight highlights the colorful petrified wood of Agate House Agate House was built over 900 years ago out of pieces of petrified wood Devil's Playground Eroded towers called hoodoos loom above Devil's Playground. Eroded towers called hoodoos loom above Devil's Playground. Puerco Pueblo Masonry wall foundations are all that are left of a hundred room pueblo Masonry wall remnants are all that are left of a hundred room pueblo. Painted Desert Community Complex Plaza Painted Desert Community Complex Plaza reveals the long lines of Mid-century style architecture Painted Desert Community Complex Plaza reveals the long lines of Mid-century style architecture Agate Bridge A large petrified log stretches across a gully This large petrified log stretches across a gully created by erosion. Blue Mesa Summer storm clouds build behind the banded badlands of Blue Mesa Summer storm clouds build behind the banded badlands of Blue Mesa. Blue Mesa Trail Two visitors walk the Blue Mesa Trail between blue, purple, and grey badlands. Visitors enjoy the otherworldly walk along the Blue Mesa. Crystal Forest Many petrified logs are scattered in front of the blue grey badlands at Crystal Forest. Many petrified logs are scattered among the badlands at Crystal Forest. Grassland Rainbow A full rainbow arches over the open grassland. A full rainbow arches over the open grassland. Expansion Land Scenery Swirly patterned rocks form a jumbled puzzle in front of red badlands Swirly patterned rocks form a jumbled puzzle in front of red badlands in the expansion lands. Flattops Mesas glow red at dawn The Flattops glow red at dawn. Painted Desert Inn CCC Lyle Bennett Skylight Montage Handpainted glass skylight at the historic Handpainted skylight panels by the CCC designed by architect Lyle Bennett grace the historic Painted Desert Inn NHL Fred Kabotie Mural at the Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark Many Hopi symbols are represented in this mural including eagles, corn, and rain. Many Hopi symbols are featured in this Fred Kabotie mural at the Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark Onyx Bridge, Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area a long petrified log stretches across a wash Onyx Bridge is a popular destination for hikers in the Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area's north unit. Jasper Forest many petrified logs lay on the ground and on eroded pedestals of clay Jasper Forest has some of the most colorful logs in the park. Route 66 Alignment An old 1932 Studebaker auto sits near the Route 66 alignment An old 1932 Studebaker auto sits near the Route 66 alignment. Painted Desert Inn Punched Tin Light Fixtur handmade Spanish colonial style punched tin light fixtures were made by the CCC The handmade Spanish-colonial-style punched tin light fixtures were made by the CCC in the 1930s for the Painted Desert Inn NHL. Summer Solstice Petroglyph at Puerco Pueblo A beam of light touches a petroglyph at Puerco Pueblo on the summer solstice A petroglyph at Puerco Pueblo interacts with the sunlight on the summer solstice. Mountain Lion Petroglyph a petroglyph pecked into sandstone that represents a mountain lion This ancient petroglyph of a mountain lion has become an icon of the park. Paleontological Excavation Researchers dig for fossils in the badlands Researchers dig for fossils in the badlands. Colorful Piece of Petrified Wood yellow and other colors in a piece of brightly colored petrified wood Iron oxide is one of the many trace minerals that create the color of petrified wood. Sunset on the Tepees striped badlands glow red in the sunset light at the Tepees Striped badlands glow red in the sunset light at the Tepees. Kids Day Camp Field Trip with Park Paleontologist Bill Parker Kids excavating in the field with Park Paleontologist Bill Parker Kids excavating in the field with Park Paleontologist Bill Parker Milky Way Over Blue Mesa Dark blue sky filled with stars over banded badland. Petrified Forest is now an International Dark Sky Park! Tandem Bicycling at Blue Mesa Two people in colorful clothing on a tandem bicycle with banded badlands in the background Tandem Bicycling at Blue Mesa 2012 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2012 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Park Air Profiles - Petrified Forest National Park Air quality profile for Petrified Forest National Park. Gives park-specific information about air quality and air pollution impacts for Petrified Forest NP as well as the studies and monitoring conducted for Petrified Forest NP. Hieroglyphs 2012 SCPN-NAU Student Projects The 2012 SCPN-NAU School of Communication partnership took the form of a fall semester internship for NAU student, Kent Wagner. 2012 Student Projects Increasing temperature seasonality may overwhelm shifts in soil moisture to favor shrub over grass dominance in Colorado Plateau drylands Increasing variability of temperature favors a shift to shrublands over grasslands in arid southwestern landscapes. This effect is greater than the effect of increasing soil moisture, which favors a shift to grasslands over shrublands. Grassland with scattered junipers and hills in the background. Renewed emphasis on microvertebrate fossils recovers the oldest frogs in North America Until recently, relatively little research has been done on the microvertebrates of the Chinle Formation. . Fortunately, new fossils from Petrified Forest National Park and sites from a neighboring ranch and St. Johns, Arizona are starting to fill that gap. Late Triassic frog clings to the snout of a phytosaur 2011 SCPN-NAU Student Projects In spring 2011, the SCPN-NAU School of Communication collaboration began with a multimedia studies course focused on documenting park resources and resource projects. The class was taught by NAU professors Laura Camden and Peter Friederici. 2011 Student Projects The Colorado Plateau The Colorado Plateau is centered on the four corners area of the Southwest, and includes much of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. Hazy Fajada Butte, Chaco Culture National Monument Monitoring Upland Vegetation and Soils on the Southern Colorado Plateau Vegetation and soils are the foundation upon which all terrestrial ecosystems are built. Soils provide the medium for the storage and delivery of water and nutrients to plants, which in turn provide animal populations with both habitat and food. Sampling grassland vegetation at a long-term monitoring plot at Wupatki National Monument Monitoring Bird Communities on the Southern Colorado Plateau Bird communities can tell us a lot about changing environmental conditions. High on the food chain, and sensitive to climate and habitat changes, birds are monitored on the Southern Colorado Plateau as indicators of riparian and upland ecosystem health. Male Williamson’s sapsucker. NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. [Site Under Development] petrified logs on desert landscape 2003 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2003 Environmental Achievement Awards 2007 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2007 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Modeling Past and Future Soil Moisture in Southern Colorado Plateau National Parks and Monuments In this project, USGS and NPS scientists used the range of variation in historical climate data to provide context for assessing the relative impact of projected future climate on soil water availability. This report provides the results of modeled SWP generated for 11 ecosystems in nine Southern Colorado Plateau Network parks. Extensive grassland at Wupatki National Monument Monitoring Night Skies and Natural Soundscapes on the Southern Colorado Plateau Many national parks in the Southern Colorado Plateau region contain large areas of wilderness, where dark night skies and natural soundscapes are important human values. Dark night skies, which depend upon the visibility of stars and other natural components, are diminishing resources in several park units because of anthropogenic activities. Natural soundscapes—that is, the natural sounds of wildlands—are degraded by sounds caused by humans or human technology. Clouds and sky turning red and orange over Navajo National Monument at sunset Searching for Change in Petrified Forest National Park Grasslands The Southern Colorado Plateau Network of the National Park Service has been monitoring grasslands in Petrified Forest National Park since 2007. Data collected from the park between 2007 and 2018 was analyzed to investigate how the condition of the grasslands changed over time. Arid grassland with rocky formations in the background. Survey of New Park Lands at Petrified Forest National Park During 2004 Congress authorized the expansion of the Petrified Forest National Park boundary to preserve important paleontological and archeological resources. A team of paleontologists, under the supervision of Bill Parker and Adam Marsh, have documented nearly 300 new fossil localities in the new lands added to the park. This article features the incredible paleontological work and discoveries documented at Petrified Forest National Park. youth group hiking a desert trail Fostering Children’s Dreams of Becoming a Paleontologist 100,000 Times Children, young and old, ventured to Petrified Forest National Park on June 6th to celebrate Dinosaur Day. Among the many fossil-focused activities, a “TOP SECRET” surprise was being guarded closely under the “Smokey Bear” hats worn by the park rangers and paleontologists at the park. The 100,000th Junior Paleontologist booklet would be handed to one of the young participants. Two rangers and three kids standing in front of fossils Painted Desert Inn Cultural Landscape The Painted Desert Inn Historic District, which covers approximately 15 acres, is located within Petrified Forest National Park. The district is significant for its association with 20th century trends in tourism and recreation and its association with NPS Rustic Style architecture and landscape architecture from 1924 to 1949. It was designed by National Park Service architects and constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1937-1940. Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark (NPS) Rainbow Forest Complex Cultural Landscape The 172-acre Rainbow Forest Complex is on the arid windswept plains of the Colorado Plateau in Petrified Forest National Park in northern Arizona. For 39 years it served as park headquarters and as such was the most visited destination. It consists of interpretive trails, the visitor center and museum, a concession building, a picnic area, and residential and service areas. The buildings at Rainbow Forest represent architectural styles from different NPS eras. Rainbow Forest Museum (NPS) Designing the Desert: Landscape & the Painted Desert Community Complex The landscape design for the Painted Desert Community Complex reflects the modern aesthetic and services that characterized the NPS Mission 66 program. As a premiere example of what would become known as Park Service Modern, the use of plantings, circulation, and open space all supported a new idea of the visitor center and park headquarters. In form, material, and intention, the complex made a clean break with the past to initiate a new era for the park and its visitors. Columns support a roof overhang of a low structure, next to a plaza with a tree in a planter. Southwest River Environments In the arid Southwest, water means life, and prehistorically, rivers were the lifelines of the people. The Colorado River flowing through a canyon Vegetation Characterization and Mapping on the Southern Colorado Plateau Vegetation mapping is a tool used by botanists, ecologists, and land managers to better understand the abundance, diversity, and distribution of different vegetation types across a landscape. Vegetation plots used for the classification and mapping of El Malpais NM Climate Change on the Southern Colorado Plateau The combination of high. elevation and a semi-arid climate makes the Colorado Plateau particularly vulnerable to climate change. Climate models predict that over the next 100 years, the Southwest will become warmer and even more arid, with more extreme droughts than the region has experienced in the recent past. One result of climate change may be more, larger floods, like this flash flood in Glen Canyon NRA Petrified Forest National Park: A Place for Birds Birds have always lived in the place that is now Petrified Forest National Park. Dinosaurs that were the direct ancestors of modern-day birds lived in this area more than 200 million years ago. Their fossilized remains are found throughout the park. In prehistoric times, people carved bird likenesses in the rocks and cliffs throughout the area. Today, the park protects 257 species of birds. Northern harrier hawk flying low over grasslands, with colorful rock layers visible in the distance. Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Mesozoic Era The Mesozoic Era (251.9 to 66 million years ago) was the "Age of Reptiles." During the Mesozoic, Pangaea began separating into the modern continents, and the modern Rocky Mountains rose. Dinosaurs, crocodiles, and pterosaurs ruled the land and air. As climate changed and rapid plate tectonics resulted in shallow ocean basins, sea levels rose world-wide and seas expanded across the center of North America. fossil dinosaur skull in rock face Series: Badlands Geology and Paleontology Badlands National Park is well-known for its geology and paleontology. Fossils found in the park range from 75- to 28-million years old and many are in excellent condition. The flat-lying layers of the park's formation represent classic sedimentary rock layers. a layered badlands butte's jagged edges reach into a bright blue sky. Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Since 2002, the National Park Service (NPS) has awarded Environmental Achievement (EA) Awards to recognize staff and partners in the area of environmental preservation, protection and stewardship. A vehicle charges at an Electric Vehicle charging station at Thomas Edison National Historical Park Series: Defining the Southwest The Southwest has a special place in the American imagination – one filled with canyon lands, cacti, roadrunners, perpetual desert heat, a glaring sun, and the unfolding of history in places like Tombstone and Santa Fe. In the American mind, the Southwest is a place without boundaries – a land with its own style and its own pace – a land that ultimately defies a single definition. Maize agriculture is one component of a general cultural definition of the Southwest. Series: Park Paleontology News - Vol. 11, No. 1, Spring 2019 All across the park system, scientists, rangers, and interpreters are engaged in the important work of studying, protecting, and sharing our rich fossil heritage. <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/newsletters.htm">Park Paleontology news</a> provides a close up look at the important work of caring for these irreplaceable resources. <ul><li>Contribute to Park Paleontology News by contacting the <a href="https://www.nps.gov/common/utilities/sendmail/sendemail.cfm?o=5D8CD5B898DDBB8387BA1DBBFD02A8AE4FBD489F4FF88B9049&r=/subjects/geoscientistsinparks/photo-galleries.htm">newsletter editor</a></li><li>Learn more about <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/">Fossils & Paleontology</a> </li><li>Celebrate <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossilday/">National Fossil Day</a> with events across the nation</li></ul> Tule Springs Fossil Beds Series: Park Air Profiles Clean air matters for national parks around the country. Photo of clouds above the Grand Canyon, AZ Series: Park Paleontology News - Vol. 09, No. 2, Fall 2017 All across the park system, scientists, rangers, and interpreters are engaged in the important work of studying, protecting, and sharing our rich fossil heritage. <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/newsletters.htm">Park Paleontology news</a> provides a close up look at the important work of caring for these irreplaceable resources. <ul><li>Contribute to Park Paleontology News by contacting the <a href="https://www.nps.gov/common/utilities/sendmail/sendemail.cfm?o=5D8CD5B898DDBB8387BA1DBBFD02A8AE4FBD489F4FF88B9049&r=/subjects/geoscientistsinparks/photo-galleries.htm">newsletter editor</a></li><li>Learn more about <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/">Fossils & Paleontology</a> </li><li>Celebrate <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossilday/">National Fossil Day</a> with events across the nation</li></ul> skull on the lawn at the national mall Series: SCPN-NAU School of Communication Collaboration The Southern Colorado Plateau Network (SCPN) of the National Park Service has been partnering with the Northern Arizona University (NAU) School of Communication since 2011 to develop student multimedia projects that highlight resources and activities in network parks. This collaboration gives NAU students hands-on experience in creating multimedia projects and provides network parks with products that can help to promote their unique resources and scientific or educational project work. SCPN-NAU student projects Women & Paleontology in the Badlands Although Badlands National Park is proud to employ many female paleontologists today, this scientific field was not always accepting of women. In this article, learn about how women's roles in paleontology have changed over years of Badlands research. a woman in a white lab coat uses a small pick while working on a baseball-sized fossil skull. Painted Desert Community Complex H.D. Cultural Landscape The Painted Desert Community Complex is located within Petrified Forest National Park in northeastern Arizona. This complex was designed by Richard Neutra and Robert Alexander in 1958 to serve as the park’s headquarters, which includes administrative offices, maintenance facilities, visitor and resident services, employee housing, and a designed landscape. The complex is nationally significant as an architecturally distinct example of Mission 66. North end of Painted Desert Community Complex plaza, 2010 (J. Cowley, NPS) Triassic Period—251.9 to 201.3 MYA The brightly colored Triassic rocks of Petrified Forest National Park yield not only the petrified trees but many other plant and animal fossils. fossil footprint on stone Mesozoic Era The Mesozoic Era (251.9 to 66 million years ago) was the "Age of Reptiles." During the Mesozoic, Pangaea began separating into the modern continents, and the modern Rocky Mountains rose. Dinosaurs, crocodiles, and pterosaurs ruled the land and air. As climate changed and rapid plate tectonics resulted in shallow ocean basins, sea levels rose world-wide and seas expanded across the center of North America. fossil dinosaur skull in rock face Series: Park Paleontology News - Vol. 13, No. 1, Spring 2021 All across the park system, scientists, rangers, and interpreters are engaged in the important work of studying, protecting, and sharing our rich fossil heritage. <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/newsletters.htm">Park Paleontology news</a> provides a close up look at the important work of caring for these irreplaceable resources. <ul><li>Contribute to Park Paleontology News by contacting the <a href="https://www.nps.gov/common/utilities/sendmail/sendemail.cfm?o=5D8CD5B898DDBB8387BA1DBBFD02A8AE4FBD489F4FF88B9049&r=/subjects/geoscientistsinparks/photo-galleries.htm">newsletter editor</a></li><li>Learn more about <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/">Fossils & Paleontology</a> </li><li>Celebrate <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossilday/">National Fossil Day</a> with events across the nation</li></ul> park ranger in uniform Meet Deb Wagner—Petrified Forest National Park’s Paleontology Lab Manager Deb Wagner manages the fossil preparation lab at Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona. She is responsible for a variety of tasks, from fossil preparation to managing lab supplies to tracking specimens. Among her recent projects was the molding and casting of a phytosaur skull. park ranger in uniform The Intersecting Crossroads of Paleontology and Archeology: When are Fossils Considered Artifacts? Understanding human knowledge and attitudes (human dimensions) towards paleontological resources through the cooccurrence of fossils and artifacts and/or tribal consultation (archeological context) helps us better appreciate those human values, perspectives, and beliefs. This understanding is important to the management, protection, and interpretation of these non-renewable resources.  colorful arrowhead on black background New Fossils Clarify the Early Evolution of Modern Frogs in North America The fossil record of early frogs is very incomplete, especially in North America. A new fossil frog was discovered in the Late Triassic Chinle Formation (~220 million years ago) at Petrified Forest National Park that pushes back the earliest occurrence of frogs in North America by nearly 20 million years. This research is a collaboration between NPS and Virginia Tech paleontologists that continues to search for microfossils of early vertebrate groups. drawing of a dripping frog hanging on the jaw of a much larger phytosaur Series: Intermountain Park Science 2021 Integrating Research and Resource Management in Intermountain National Parks Group of National Park Service staff and volunteers standing in front of a desert canyon. The Petrified Forest Boundary Expansion Project From 2013-2015, Mr. Reitze developed and supervised an archeological survey project at Petrified Forest National Park. The purpose of the project was to begin archeological inventory in the approximately 45,000 acres acquired by the NPS in 2004. NPS Paleontologists Discover Hidden Cradle of Tetrapod Evolution at Petrified Forest National Park: Implications for the Triassic Origins of Living Tetrapod Communities Paleontologist Ben Kligman reports on the diverse fossil discoveries from an important locality at Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona. three people working in a fossil quarry
Petrified Forest National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Trip Planner More Spectacular Than Ever! t h e r e i s a r e n a i s s a n c e u n d e rway at p e t r i f i e d We invite you to Find Your Park in Petrified Forest! Hello and Welcome Of all the wonderful attractions in Northern Arizona, thank you for visiting Petrified Forest National Park. This piece of America’s heritage was set aside in 1906 to protect it and to make it available for public enjoyment, as one of the largest petrified wood deposits in the world. But there are compelling human Forest National Park. The park itself has doubled in size. New hiking trails, building renovations, and updated exhibits are examples of improvements found throughout the park. Not to mention, our original attraction and namesake is still here in abundance: petrified wood! To counter the incorrect belief that massive amounts of petrified wood were stolen from Petrified Forest over time, we are continuing a re-photography effort to capture images of Petrified Forest’s most important and iconic areas. This project involves taking historic photographs in our collection (more than 200 so far) and reshooting those images from the same vantage points today. The results show the stories here, too. Several Native American tribal nations vast majority of petrified wood is right where it was when the pictures were first taken. Wood theft does occasionally occur. We do catch and fine people who attempt to remove petrified wood, and we will always continue our vigilance. But the underlying message of the old “massive theft” narrative—that today’s visitors experience something less than their grandparents saw—is simply not true. These images show that Petrified Forest is more spectacular than ever! We also know—and celebrate—that the overwhelming majority of our park visitors continue to respect the rules and leave petrified wood for the appreciation of all. Thank you for doing the right thing! Enjoy Petrified Forest National Park. have ancestral ties to this place. In recent times, Route 66 passed through the park. Many of the structures in use today, to support your visit and management 1899 activities, are now on the National Register of Historic Places; including the Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark. Whatever your interest, please ask a ranger for more information or check out our website at www.nps.gov/ Today pefo. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. We want to make your visit informative and enjoyable. If we spark your continuing interest in the stories the park has to tell, we’re glad to help you find more information. The most popular way to experience the park is to drive the 28 mile long park road from one end to the other. There are many pullouts and several short trails to get you closer to the story. Please join the millions of visitors who have enjoyed the petrified wood and left it undisturbed for others to enjoy too. If you see illegal activity, please let our law enforcement staff know. Petrified wood collected legally from locations outside the park is available for sale in park gift shops. We hope you enjoy your connection with Petrified Forest National Park. We invite you to walk the trails amidst ancient petrified logs, take in the wide vistas of the Painted Desert, discover voices of the past in the petroglyphs, and listen to the silence of the wilderness. Left: Local rancher Adam Hanna reclines on petrified wood; Right: a match in Jasper Forest over 100 years later. What Should I See and Do? IF YOU HAVE ONE OR T WO HOURS: Decide which end of the park interests you and spend time there, saving the rest for another visit. • South End: Visit the Rainbow Forest Museum and watch the park film; walk Giant Logs and Crystal Forest Trails; drive the Blue Mesa Road • North End: Watch the park film at Painted Desert Visitor Center; select several overlooks to take in views of the Painted Desert; walk the Tawa Point Trail and visit the Painted Desert Inn. IF YOU HAVE HALF A DAY, DO THE ABOVE AND ADD: • • • • • • • Drive through the entire park (28 mi/45km main road). Walk the Painted Desert Rim Trail to Kachina Point. Enjoy the views and wayside exhibits at Route 66, Newspaper Rock, Agate Bridge, and Jasper Forest. Walk the Giant Logs Trail (pick up a trail guide at Rainbow Forest Museum). Visit Puerco Pueblo. Attend a ranger program (available seasonally). Explore Blue Mesa and walk the trail. Any time spent at Petrified Forest National Park is time well spent. The highest Enjoy your park, and thanks for your support! IF YOU HAVE A FULL DAY OR MORE, DO THE ABOVE AND ADD: • • • • Hike to Long Logs and Agate House. Choose an Off the Beaten Path hike (see page 2). Spend the night in the park’s Wilderness Area. Celebrate—you have the luxury of time to enjoy! concentrations of petrified wood are found in the southern end of the park, while the northern end showcases the human story and Painted De
Petrified Forest National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Petrified Forest National Park Arizona Geology and the Painted Desert Part of the Painted Desert, Petrified Forest National Park features a strangely beautiful landscape. Erosion has sculpted and shaped intriguing landforms, revealing a treasure trove of fossils within multi-colored layers. The rocks reveal an enthralling chronicle of time that is unfolding and ever-changing. What can the rocks tell us? Think of the colorful layers of Petrified Forest as pages in a massive book. As the pages are turned, we discover that the words are part of a language we don’t completely understand. The pictures in the book help, but we must put together the story of this ancient book with fragmented clues. The first chapter of this geological text is the Chinle Formation. Chinle Formation During the Late Triassic Epoch large river systems flowed northwest through this region to the sea, which was located in what would become Nevada. These rivers deposited thick layers (over 900 feet/300 meters) of silt, sand, and gravel burying their channels and floodplains. Modern erosional forces have re-exposed these deposits as the colorful badland hills, flat-topped mesas, and sculptured buttes of the Chinle Formation, which makes up a large portion of the Painted Desert region of Arizona. Within Petrified Forest National Park, the layers of the Chinle Formation are divided into members: The Mesa Redondo Member consists mainly of reddish sandstones with some minor mudstones. This layer represents the lowest (and thus oldest) member of the Chinle Formation found in the park. Unfortunately, it is restricted only to a small area in the Tepees section of the park. The Mesa Redondo Member is approximately 226 million years old. The Blue Mesa Member consists of thick deposits of grey, blue, purple, and green mudstones and minor sandstone beds, the most prominent of which is the Newspaper Rock Bed. This unit is best exposed in the Tepees area of the park. The Blue Mesa Member is approximately 223-225 million years old. Stratigraphic section of the Chinle Formation in Northern Arizona The Sonsela Member consists of five parts: 1) the lower Camp Butte beds consisting of white sandstone and conglomerates; 2) the Lot’s Wife beds consisting of purple mudstones and gray sandstones; 3) the Jasper Forest bed (at Crystal and Jasper Forests, Blue Mesa) and the Rainbow Forest Bed (at Rainbow Forest), consists of thick gravelly sandstones and conglomerates which contain the majority of the colorful petrified wood; 4) the Jim Camp Wash beds, another unit of mudstone and sandstone with numerous calcareous lenses; and 5) the Martha’s Butte beds, purple mudstones and massive brown colored sandstones termed the Flattops One Sandstones. The Sonsela Member was deposited about 213-219 million years old. The Petrified Forest Member consists of thick sequences of reddish mudstones and brown sandstone layers. This member is exposed in the Flattops and the red hills of the Painted Desert. The Black Forest Bed, part of the Petrified Forest Member north of Kachina Point, has been determined to be about 209 million years old. The Owl Rock Member consists of pinkishorange mudstones mixed with hard, thin layers of limestone. This member is exposed at Chinde Mesa at the northernmost border of the park. The Owl Rock Member is approximately 207 million years old. During the Late Triassic, this region was located on the southwestern edge of the supercontinent Pangaea and just north of the equator. Evidence from ancient soils as well as fossil plants and animals indicates that the climate was humid and sub-tropical during the Late Triassic. The sedimentary layers of the Chinle Formation consist of sandstone, mudstone, and conglomerate deposited by a large river system that had cycles of droughts and floods, similar to those affecting many modern river systems. The colorful bands in the Chinle Formation, which give the Painted Desert its name, represent ancient soil horizons. The coloration is due to the presence of various minerals. While the red and green layers generally contain the same amount of iron and manganese, differences in color depend on the position of the groundwater table when the ancient soils were formed. In soils where the water table was high, a reducing environment existed due to a lack of oxygen in the sediments, giving the iron minerals in the soil a greenish or bluish hue. The reddish soils were formed where the water table fluctuated, allowing the iron minerals to oxidize (rust). Colorado Plateau The supercontinent Pangaea began to break up about 200 million years ago due to tectonic movement of the earth’s crust, eventually orienting the continents how they are today. About 60 million years ago this region of Arizona began to rise due to similar forces. The uplift process raised some areas as much as 10,000 feet above sea level. Over millions of years, erosion stripped
Petrified Forest National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Petrified Forest National Park Arizona Triassic Dinosaurs and Other Animals Fossils are clues to the past, allowing researchers to reconstruct ancient environments. During the Late Triassic, the climate was very different from that of today. Located near the equator, this region was humid and tropical, the landscape dominated by a huge river system. Giant reptiles and amphibians, early dinosaurs, fish, and many invertebrates lived among the dense vegetation and in the winding waterways. New fossils come to light as paleontologists continue to study the Triassic treasure trove of Petrified Forest National Park. Invertebrates Scattered throughout the sedimentary layers of the Chinle Formation are fossils of many types of invertebrates. Trace fossils including possible insect nests and beetle borings in the petrified logs. Thin slabs of shale have preserved more delicate animals such as shrimp, crayfish, and insects, including the wing of a cockroach! Horseshoe crabs Horseshoe crabs have been identified by their fossilized tracks (Kouphichnium arizonae), originally left in the soft sediments at the bottom of fresh water lakes and streams. These invertebrates probably ate worms, soft mollusks, plants, and dead fish. Clams Various freshwater bivalves have been found in the Chinle Formation, some species forming vast colonies in the muddy beds of the ancient lakes and rivers. Antediplodon thomasi is one of the clam fossils found in the park. Freshwater Fish The freshwater streams and rivers of the Triassic landscape were home to numerous species of fish, especially sharks and lungfish. Bony fish of the Late Triassic included Turseodus sp., Semionotus sp., and Hemicalypterus weii. Freshwater Sharks Lissodus humblei was a blunt-toothed shark about 6-9 inches (15-23 cm) long. The blunt teeth indicate it survived on clams and clam shrimp; it was probably a bottom dweller. “Xenacanthus” moorei was a 3 foot (1 m) long prong-toothed shark that fed on smaller fish, aquatic reptiles, and amphibians. Amphibians Metoposaurs (meh-toe-poe-sores) were giant amphibians. A common fossil animals found in the lower portion of the park is the large flat-headed amphibian Koskinonodon perfectus (see below), 10 feet (3 m) long and weighing up to half a ton. These animals were most likely voracious predators feeding on fish and smaller animals. With their flat heads and upward Coelacanth Living species of coelacanths (seal-a-kanths) are still found in the world today. The fossil species found in Petrified Forest National Park is Chinlea sorenseni. This large lobe-finned fish could reach up to 5 feet (1.5 m) long and weigh up to 150 pounds (68 kg). Its jaws were equipped with large, sharp teeth for catching and holding prey. Lungfish Arganodus dorotheae (see below) were heavy fish up to 3 feet (1 m) in length and weighing up to 70 pounds (32 kg). They had fascinating, combshaped teeth used as crushing plates for clams. Some lungfish living today are able to leave the water for periods of time and breathe air. directed eyes, Koskinonodon probably settled in the muddy bottom of ponds and ambushed prey from below. Koskinonodon rarely occurs in the northern section of the park, which contains sediments younger than the Blue Mesa and Rainbow Forest. Giant amphibians are represented in these layers by a smaller yet similar animal named Apachesaurus gregorii. Archosaurs Archosauriformes Archosauriformes are a specialized group of reptiles that includes birds and crocodiles. In the Triassic, archosauriformes were represented by aetosaurs, phytosaurs, rauisuchians, and dinosaurs. Phytosaurs Phytosaurs (fie-toe-sores) were crocodile-like reptiles, some species reaching lengths possibly exceeding 20 feet (6.1 meters). Distantly related, phytosaurs probably filled similar ecological niches as crocodiles, feeding mainly on fish and any other animals that came too near. Phytosaurs are the most common fossil animal found in the park, species including Smilosuchus gregorii (see below) and Machaeroprosopus pristinus. Aetosaurs Aetosaurs (a-ee-toe-sores) were 3-18 feet (1-6 m) long, herbivorous reptiles with broad flat bodies protected by plate-like scutes. Some species had large spikes on their sides or back that were possibly used for defense. Aetosaurs had short limbs and small skulls with a piglike snout for rooting in soil for plants and roots. Desmatosuchus spurensis (see below) and Calyptosuchus wellesi are two of the aetosaurs found in Petrified Forest National Park. Therapsids Therapsids were large reptiles that possessed many mammalian characters including a “cheek” bone, enlarged canine teeth, pelvis, and a specialized attachment of the skull to the spine. Placerias hesternus (pla-seer-ee-us) was a dicynodont therapsid. This massive planteater was up to 9 feet (2.7 m) long and might have weighed as much as two tons. Placerias had a short neck, barrel-shap
Petrified Forest National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Petrified Forest National Park Arizona Archeology Visitors to Petrified Forest often wonder how people lived in this seemingly harsh land. People, however, have made this region home for over 13,000 years. The climate has changed over this long period, from cold steppe to semi-arid shortgrass prairie. Imagine making a living off the land of Petrified Forest. What would you hunt? How would you farm? In what sort of home would you live? Paleo-Indian 13,500 to 8000 BCE At the end of the last Ice Age, huntergatherers roamed the Southwest. During this time, the region was cooler with a grassland environment. People gathered wild plants for food and hunted extinct forms of bison and other large herd animals. The nomads used a device called an atlatl to throw their spears and darts. With their distinctive elegant fluting, the projectile points of these ancient people help define the Clovis and Folsom Cultures. Folsom and Clovis camps have been found within Petrified Forest National Park as well as fluted projectile points made of petrified wood. Archaic Culture 8000 to 500 BCE By 4000 BCE (Before Common Era), the climate had become similar to that of the present. The area became warmer and the monsoon pattern of precipitation evolved. The megafauna of the past were extinct. People had to broaden their source of food, including many different species of plants and animals. Farming and sedentism began during this period, particularly as corn was brought into the region from the south in the Late Archaic Period. Indicative of this period were one-handed manos, basin metates, flaked tools, and no pottery. Basketmaker II and III 500 BCE to 650 CE Basketmakers were increasingly sedentary, living in stone-lined pithouses. As the Basketmaker period progressed, settlements moved down from the mesa and dune tops to the slopes closer to farm land. They grew corn, squash, and, eventually, beans. They made beautiful baskets and Adamana Brown pottery. Their tool kit changed and broadened. The bow and arrow were introduced about 500 CE. Petroglyphs throughout the area were created by these people, including images of humans and animals. Basketmaker III–Pueblo I 650 to 950 CE During this period, settlements ranged from a handful to many deep pithouses with wall niches, floor pits, and entry ramps. Use of above ground architecture began to change from storage to habitation. It appeared to have been a stressful period, with a major drought from 850 to 900 CE. Artisans began to decorate their pottery with black on white painted designs. Cross-section of a pithouse Ancestral Pueblo People: Pueblo II-III 950-1300 CE While most of this period was similar in climate to the present, there was a prolonged widespread drought from 1271 to 1296 CE (based on tree-ring data from nearby El Malpais National Monument). Although a few people still lived in pithouses, above ground rooms were becoming prominent. Subterranean ceremonial rooms called kivas were introduced. Sites expanded across the landscape. Homes evolved into aboveground pueblos, some with multiple stories. People began to make corrugated, Blackon-Red, and polychrome pottery. Tools included manos and slab metates, petrified wood and obsidian points and scrapers, and pottery that was both locally made and trade items. Artifacts link park sites to Homol’ovi, Flagstaff, the Hopi Mesas, Gallup, Zuni, and the White Mountains sites. Many petroglyphs were made throughout the Little Colorado and Puerco River Valleys, including solar markers. A large percentage of the recorded sites at Petrified Forest National Park belong to Pueblo II–III. Ancestral Pueblo People: Pueblo IV 1300 – 1450 CE After the drought extending into the early 14th Century, there was a period of environmental change, the return of long winters and shorter growing seasons. These conditions extended well into the 19th Century. By 1300 CE, archeologists believe that the idea of Katsinam (sometimes spelled Kachinas) became widespread, marked by images of Katsinam in petroglyphs, pictographs, and kiva murals. Polychrome pottery became more elaborate and Glaze-on-Red was added. Piki stones (for making piki bread) became evident. Their tool kit included small triangular projectile points. The population began to aggregate into larger communities, with over a hundred rooms, kivas, and frequently a plaza, located along major drainages or near springs. By the end of Pueblo IV, most of the Petrified Forest area appears to have been depopulated, but people still used the region for a travel corridor and for resources. Sites to visit in Petrified Forest National Park Puerco Pueblo Probably constructed over several generations, 100 to 125 rooms, one-story high, were built around a rectangular plaza near the Puerco River. Within the plaza were three rectangular kivas, their unusual shape indicating influence from the many different people. Wh
Petrified Forest National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Petrified Forest National Park Arizona Messages on Stone Petroglyphs are like whispers from the past. For thousands of years, people of the Southwest have used the surfaces of the boulders, canyon walls, and rock shelters as a means of communication. Petrified Forest National Park contains hundreds of fine examples of these images pecked into stone. What is a petroglyph? Petroglyphs are images, symbols, or designs that are scratched, pecked, carved, or incised on natural rock surfaces. Created by people hundreds, even thousands, of years ago, petroglyphs intrigue us and provoke many questions. How are petroglyphs made? There are several possible techniques that could have been used to make the park petroglyphs. One method was using a direct blow from an angular palm-sized rock called a hammerstone. Another method, indirect percussion, gave greater control by using a chisel-like rock in conjunction with the hammerstone. What is that dark surface on the rock? The dark coating found on many rock surfaces is a natural patina is formed of iron and manganese oxides fixed with clay particles by microorganisms—a sort of weathering rind. Many petroglyphs are made by pecking or scratching through this thin patina to reveal the original color of the interior of the rock. Eventually, the rock coating redeposits, also called repatination, darkening over time. Some researchers hope that repatination may help with dating petroglyphs. How old are they? Determining the age of petroglyphs is a difficult task. Archeologists might assign an age which correlates with a nearby habitation site; evaluate the subject matter and style to determine how it relates to a specific time period; compare the sequence of design layering; or use analytical dating techniques such as X-ray fluorescence. Most of the petroglyphs in the park are thought to range between 600 to 1100 years old, with a few older ones. The oldest dated petroglyph in the park is 2000 years old. The Hopi, Zuni, and Navajo of today have centuries of historic connections with this area, therefore different beliefs and practices may be represented by the petroglyphs. Researchers learn a great deal from these living people. Some meanings were not meant to be known or understood today. Some meanings were not meant to be known or understood by the uninitiated. Some images were possibly made for religious purposes and hold a deep spiritual significance. They may be considered prayers by some people. Current speculation has led some researchers to believe that various petroglyphs may tell a story, mark a trail, or commemorate an event. Some images may have been made to ensure fertility or successful hunting, or may have also been used to keep track of the seasons. In some instances the image may represent a clan or family, many of which have been recognized by their descendents. The Hopi and Zuni have called the panels of petroglyphs a reference library left by their ancestors. What do they mean? Is that a poodle? Researchers classify petroglyph and pictograph (images painted with mineral or vegetal pigment) styles according to elements, figures, compositions, and techniques that are consistent within a geographic area and time period. Once a style is defined, it may be used to associate images with specific cultural groups. There are very few pictographs in the park. Archeologists have categorized the petroglyphs found in the park into six distinct groups: anthropomorph (human form), zoomorph (animal shape), Katsina (in Hopi) or Köko (in Zuni) are spirit shape, hands/tracks, geometrics, and indeterminate. Many shapes represented by petroglyphs are familiar. Even the geometric and abstract figures may remind us of patterns in our own lives: water, stars, clouds, and the passage of time. Solar Calendar masks appear in petroglyphs by 1300 CE (Common Era) in this area. Katsinam are spiritual beings who are part of the land, bringing moisture to the Hopi villages and Zuni. Zoomorphs include large and small animals, reptiles, and birds. You may see cougars, birds, lizards, snakes, bats, coyotes, and rabbits on the petroglyph panels in the park. Hunters are sometimes seen in conjunction with prey. Both animal and some geometric symbols can be linked to specific clans. Geometrics consist of textile and pottery designs, spirals, circles, straight and wavy lines, “squiggle-mazes”, and other geometric shapes. Often, the same patterns are found in the artwork of living Pueblo people, such as the Hopi and Zuni. Anthropomorphs and spirits are represented by the human form. Anthropomorphic figures may have complete bodies but generally lack facial features. Hand and footprints appear on many panels. Cultural items sometimes associated with human figures include rattles, dance wands, pahos (prayer sticks), and ceremonial staffs. Katsina figures and Periods associated with the different styles of pe
Petrified Forest National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Petrified Forest National Park Arizona Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark The Stone Tree House The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Built of petrified wood and other native stone, the Painted Desert Inn was the vision of Herbert David Lore. While his family remembers the finished building prior to 1920, Lore registered the inn with the land office in 1924, fulfilling his responsibilities under the Homesteading Act. The Stone Tree House was an oasis in the Painted Desert, and quite isolated. A shop containing a lighting-plant supplied electricity, as the inn was not connected to electrical lines. Water was hauled from Adamana, ten miles south on the Puerco River. For almost twelve years, Lore operated the “Stone Tree House” as a tourist attraction. Visitors could eat meals in the lunchroom, purchase American Indian arts and crafts, and enjoy a cool drink in the downstairs taproom. Six small rooms—cubicles really—were available for two to four dollars per night. Lore also gave two-hour motor car tours through the Black Forest in the Painted Desert below the inn. Unfortunately, Lore had built his inn on a seam of bentonite clay. As the clay swells and shrinks in response to changes in moisture, the foundation of the inn shifts. Early on, the Painted Desert Inn began to show cracks in the walls and water damage. In the early 1930s, Lore had expressed an interest in selling or exchanging his property “in order that it could be preserved and protected.” He was probably also concerned about the integrity of the building. Petrified Forest National Monument purchased the Painted Desert Inn and four sections of land—four square miles—for $59,400 in 1936. National Monuments and Mesa Verde National Park. The workers that made his plans a reality were the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). In the early 1900s, National Park Service Rustic style architecture—nicknamed Parkitecture— arose in the National Park System. This style reflected its connection with the Arts and Crafts movement through buildings that harmonized with their natural environment and regional culture. In the Southwest, Pueblo Revival Style epitomizes this movement, drawing from the Puebloan and Spanish Colonial cultures. Pueblo Revival Style features stuccoed masonry, thick walls, earth tones, flat roofs, and projecting roof beams (vigas). Due to the structural problems of the inn and popularity of Pueblo Revival Style in the 1930s, the Painted Desert Inn was redesigned. Well-known for the Southwestern influence of his designs, National Park Service architect Lyle Bennett created a new look for the inn. Bennett first started as a ranger in 1927, but moved on to use his degree in fine art to become one of the best and most sought-after architects in the National Park Service. He was considered a master of the Pueblo Revival Style. More of his work can be seen at White Sands and Bandelier In the 1930s, men were finding relief from the Depression through the CCC. They built roads, buildings, trails and bridges in many national parks and other federal and state areas, including Petrified Forest National Monument. Throughout the country, the men of the CCC have left their mark on many historic structures. The CCC used ponderosa pine and aspen poles cut from nearby Arizona forests for roofing beams and smaller crossbeams (savinos). Light fixtures were hand-made from punched tin, and wooden tables and chairs were given American Indian designs. The beautiful skylight panels were hand-painted by the CCC workers, designs of prehistoric pottery. Concrete floors were etched and painted with patterns based on Navajo blanket designs. Open for Business The fine work of the CCC gave the Painted Desert Inn new life. The inn reopened for business of July 4, 1940, under the management of Edward McGrath for Standard Concessions. The Painted Desert Inn supplied Route 66 travelers with meals, souvenirs, and lodging. It was popular with local residents as a place for meetings and special events. The good times ended with the beginning of the United States’ involvement in World War II. The CCC was disbanded as most of the young men went to war. Travel was curtailed by wartime rationing. The inn closed in October 1942, reopening five years later under new management. The Fred Harvey Company The Painted Desert Inn reopened in the late 1940s under the renowned Fred Harvey Company, a business with important ties to Southwest, railroad, and tourism history. Fred Harvey started his company as a partnership with the Santa Fe Railroad in 1876. His facilities for travelers were well known for comfort and quality. The company’s architect and interior designer, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, arrived in December of 1947. She was already noted for her innovative Southwestern concepts when she came to the Painted Desert Inn. Along with renovations and repair, Colter created a new col
Petrified Forest National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Petrified Forest National Park Arizona Route 66 America’s Mainstreet It winds from Chicago to L.A., More than two thousand miles all the way. Get your kicks on Route Sixty-six! Bobby Troup, 1946 Echoes of the Past Near the rim of the Painted Desert, you stand on old Route 66. The line of the roadbed and the telephone poles in front of you mark the path of the famous “Main Street of America” as it passed through Petrified Forest National Park. From Chicago to Los Angeles, this heavily traveled highway was not only a road. It stood as a symbol of opportunity, adventure, and discovery. A trip from Middle America to the Coast could take about a week—no Interstate speeds here! For many, the journey was not just across miles, it was across cultures and lifestyles—from the most mundane to the exotic. Of course getting to your destination was important, but the trip itself was a reward. From the neon signs of one-of-a-kind motels to burgers and chicken fried steaks served in the multitudes of restaurants, from the filling stations that served as miniature oases to gaudy tourist traps, these more than 2,200 miles of open road were magical. Today, the road is merely a whisper through the grassland of Petrified Forest, the only national park site with a segment of the Mother Road within its boundaries. Gaze down the long road and listen. You may hear echoes of the past— echoes of Route 66. The Mother Road Considered by many as the Mother of Transcontinental Highways, Route 66 is a quintessential representative of 20th century American history and culture. Commissioned in 1926, the road was unique among other highways with a catchy tune that was ideal for promotion efforts, and with a unique arcing path across the country. Renowned as the shortest all-weather route connecting the industrial Midwest to the rural southwest, it helped facilitate the unprecedented transfer of ideas, goods, and people across the country. Traveling through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, it also served as a major corridor for migrating dust bowlers in the 1930s; for important WWII military functions in the 1940s; and for thousands of families in the 1950s during the emergence of “vacation culture.” Roadside architecture and businesses flourished, changing forever the history and character, and lives of the towns through which the route passed. As well, the arts played a critical role in immortalizing the road through literature, song, and film, which served to elevate the road to a phenomenal, pop-culture status which persists to this day. Rediscovering Route 66 A trace of the original alignment of Route 66 can be discovered during your visit to Petrified Forest National Park. Entering the park from the northern entrance, the first indication is a dirt road just before Tiponi Point. The old sign for the park that once graced Route 66 is nothing but rubble today and most of the road side attractions such as Lions Farm and The Painted Desert Park—with its vista-seeking tower to climb—are just memories. Visitors to the park will discover a jewel just off the main stretch of the Mother Road, the Painted Desert Inn, the park’s National Historic Landmark. Originally built by business man Herbert Lore, the Painted Desert Inn reflects the Pueblo Revival style of National Park architect Lyle Bennett and the designs of renowned Mary Colter of the Fred Harvey Ironically, it was the popularity of automobile travel that ultimately led to the highways demise through the construction of limitedaccess interstates in the 1970s. With the slow, incremental opening of the interstates, travel gradually shifted away from the towns and main streets of Route 66 passed, until the highway was officially decommissioned in 1985. However, the public demanded that the road and its history be kept alive, and preservation and tourism movements have since flourished. Almost 90 years since its birth, and nearly 30 years since its decommissioning, Route 66 remains one of the most revered, beloved, and sought out historic roads in the world. Company. The warm pinkish brown walls protect murals painted in the late 1940s by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie in what were once the Dining Room and Lunch Room that catered to travelers. The Painted Desert Inn was an oasis along the dusty stretch of Route 66. Continuing around the arch of the park road, featuring the spectacular views of the colorful Painted Desert, visitors discover a pullout that overlooks the alignment of Route 66, following the trace through grasses and sagebrush to the Interstate that replaced the old highway. The rusted remains of an old vehicle remind us of the heyday of America’s Main Street and the romance of the road. Remember that archeological and historic sites are fragile. Every little artifact tells part of the story. Leave these fascinating sites for future generations to enjoy
Petrified Forest National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Petrified Forest National Park Arizona History Historic Stage Stop December 2—Camp 76…Quite a forest of petrified trees was discovered to-day…They are converted into beautiful specimens of variegated jasper. One trunk was measured ten feet in diameter, and more than one hundred feet in length…. Lieutenant Amiel Weeks Whipple, 1853 Lt. Amiel Weeks Whipple Explorers and Pathfinders Beale’s camels From Trails to Rails and Roads Homesteaders and train trestle Petrified Forest is a surprising country. The vast grasslands and rolling clay badlands of the Painted Desert seem deceptively simple, but the history of the region is complex. Crossed by the invisible line of the 35th Parallel, Petrified Forest is part of a natural corridor, used by prehistoric people ten thousand years ago and by travelers today. Take a moment to explore the history of Petrified Forest and perhaps discover your own connection to this fascinating place. Standing at the edge of a colorful sea of badlands and mesas, a Spanish explorer named the region El Desierto Pintado—the Painted Desert. No mention was made of petrified wood, but the Spanish of the 16th through 18th centuries were focused on finding routes between their colonies along the Rio Grande and the Pacific Coast. Within Petrified Forest National Park, Spanish inscriptions have been discovered from the late 1800s, descendents of some of the earliest non-American Indian settlers in the region. Routes continued to be explored after the Southwest became part of U.S. territories in the mid-1800s. U.S. Army Lt. Amiel Whipple, surveying for a route along the 35th Parallel passed down a broad sandy wash in the red badlands of the Painted Desert. Impressed with the deposits of petrified wood visible along the banks, Whipple named it Lithodendron (“stone tree”) Creek, the large wash that bisects the Wilderness Area of the park today. Did you know that many of you have been following the 35th Parallel? Interstate 40 is only the most recent thoroughfare along this route. In the late 1800s, settlers and private stage companies followed this ancient corridor. Homesteaders developed ranches that took advantage of the rich grasslands that would forever after bear the mark of grazing. In 1884, the Holbrook Times noted: “…The whole northern portion of the territory seems to be undergoing a great change…Our plains are stocked with thousands of cattle, horses and sheep…” Cattle would graze in Petrified Forest until the mid-1900s and ranches are some of the park’s best neighbors. One of the strangest sights at the edge of the Painted Desert must have been a camel caravan. An experienced explorer, E. F. Beale was hired by the US Government as a civilian contractor to build a wagon road along the 35th Parallel. Between 1857 and 1860, Beale made several trips from his ranch at Fort Tejon, California, building and improving the road. On his first journey, Beale was in charge of a government experiment in desert transport that included camels and their drivers. While Beale became convinced of the camels’ value, the government declared the experiment a failure. The wagon road lives on, still visible in spots across the Southwest, part of which is on the National Register of Historic Places. While traveling through the park, you will see a bridge arching over a long stretch of railroad. The Atlantic and Pacific Railroad laid lines in this region in the early 1880s, sparking the founding of many northern Arizona towns, including Holbrook to the west. Adamana was the nearest town attached to what was then called the Chalcedony Forest, providing a train station, hotels, and tours. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway took over the line, eventually becoming today’s Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway. While the heyday of tourist travel by train is gone, still more than sixty trains a day pass through the park. National Old Trails Highway Researchers’ Paradise Paleontologist Charles Camp Preserve and Protect The heyday of another travel line is long past as well, that of Route 66 which was decommissioned in 1985. Petrified Forest is the only national park that preserves a section of the famous road within its boundaries, now mostly just a whisper through the grasses. Route 66 was developed from part of the original transcontinental road, the National Old Trails Highway, which connected many historic trails from the East to the West Coasts. Route 66 is better known perhaps due to songs and tales of the romance of the road. That romance still continues for many as they follow Interstate 40 across the continent, exploring such places as Petrified Forest National Park. Imagine being one of the first scientists to view the landscape. Geologist Jules Marcou was a member of the Whipple Expedition of 1853. He was the first to note that the trees were from the Triassic—“We are in the middle part of the Trias.” In 1899, p
Petrified Forest National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Petrified Forest National Park Arizona Common Animals Although Petrified Forest is best known for its fossil clues to an ancient environment, it is also a living Park. Despite its seemingly barren appearance, Petrified Forest National Park supports hundreds of animal species. In this often demanding environment, animals have adapted many behavioral and physical means of survival. For example, blacktailed jackrabbits very long ears are radiators, helping to cool the animal during the heat of summer. Other creatures only come out in the relative cool of morning and evening. Some animals migrate or hibernate to escape the cold of winter. Keep your eyes open and watch for signs of the many animal species, large and small, that make Petrified Forest their home. (Bird information is available in the park Bird Checklist.) Amphibians Couch’s spadefoot Reptiles Collared lizard Can you imagine living underground for nine months of the year and not eating, drinking, or defecating? An amazing group of animals do just that—amphibians. It’s hard to imagine that in this dry region animals that require consistent moisture could thrive. Permeable skin allows amphibians to live in Petrified Forest. Amphibians do not drink; instead, they absorb water through their skins. Spadefoot toads, residents of the park, absorb water from the soil in which they hibernate. Although permeable skin allows for water absorption, it provides little barrier to evaporation. This causes amphibians’ water balance to be in constant flux. Evaporative water loss also results in loss of body temperature. This is why you often see amphibians on warm pavement in the evening. It is not an easy life for amphibians in this dry grassland. Ambystoma tigrinum Tiger Salamander Anaxyrus (Bufo) cognatus Great Plains Toad Anaxyrus Bufo punctatus Red-spotted Toad Anaxyrus (Bufo) woodhousii Woodhouse’s Toad Scaphiopus couchii Couch’s Spadefoot Spea multiplicata Mexican Spadefoot (formerly Scaphiopus multiplicata) Spea bombifrons Plains Spadefoot Well adapted to the often dry environment of the region, reptiles play an important part in maintaining the health of the ecosystem. Over sixteen varieties of lizards and snakes make Petrified Forest their home. Reptiles occupy a variety of habitats ranging from grassland to rocky slopes. They consume large quantities of insects, spiders, scorpions, other reptiles and small mammals, thereby preventing infestations of any single species. Respecting the entire reptile community helps preserve this balance. Lizards Aspidoscelis pai Pai Striped Whiptail (formerly A. inornatus Little striped whiptail) Aspidoscelis neomexicana New Mexico Whiptail Aspidoscelis velox Plateau Striped Whiptail Crotaphytus collaris Eastern Collared Lizard Holbrookia maculata Lesser Earless Lizard Phrynosoma hernandesi Greater Short-horned Lizard (formerly P. douglasii Short-horned lizard) Sceloporus graciosus Sagebrush Lizard Sceloporus tristichus Plateau Lizard (formerly S. undulatus Eastern fence lizard) Uta stansburiana Common Side-blotched Lizard Snakes Arizona elegans Glossy Snake Crotalus viridis viridis Prairie (Hopi) rattlesnake Hypsiglena torquata Nightsnake Lampropeltis getula Common Kingsnake Lampropeltis triangulum Milksnake Masticophis taeniatus Striped Whipsnake Pituophis catenifer Gophersnake Thamnophis cyrtopsis Black-necked Gartersnake Tiger salamander Rattlesnake Mammals Coyote Pallid Bat White-tailed antelope ground squirrel Invertebrates White-lined sphinx moth Tarantula Pillbug Taking Care of Wildlife Mammals are a diverse group of animals, ranging from the delicate white-footed mouse to the elegant mule deer. Mammals have fur or hair, produce milk for their offspring, and are warm-blooded. To live in the often extreme climate of the plateau country, mammals utilize survival strategies such as hiding in their Canis latrans Urocyon cinereoargenteus Vulpes velox Lynx rufus (Felis rufus) Odocoileus hemionus Antilocapra americana Bassariscus astutus Procyon lotor Taxidea taxus Mephitis mephitis Spilogale gracilis Lepuscalifornicus Sylvilagus audubonii Notiosorex crawfordi Antrozous pallidus Corynorhinustownsendii Myotis californicus Myotis thysanodes Myotis yumanensis Pipistrellus hesperus Erethizon dorsatum Cynomysgunnisoni Ammospermophilus leucurus Spermophilusspilosoma Spermophilus variegatus Thomomys bottae Neotomaalbigula Neotoma cinerea Neotoma mexicana Neotoma stephensi Dipodomys ordii Perognathus flavus Onychomys leucogaster Peromyscus boylii Peromyscus crinitis Peromyscusleucopus Peromyscus maniculatus Peromyscus truei Reithrodontomys megalotis Mus musculus burrows or migration, as well as physiological adaptations, like hollow hairs for insulation. Many of the mammals found in Petrified Forest National Park are rodents, a principal prey for predators of the region. Early morning is the best time to view mammals while in the park.
Petrified Forest National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Petrified Forest National Park Arizona Common Plants Within each category, species are listed alphabetically by scientific name. Non-native, often noxious and invasive, plants are marked with an *. Trees The environment of Petrified Forest is amazingly diverse, from the open grassland to the intimacy of a small seep spring. Types of plants change with the various habitats, such as the open woodlands along the Painted Desert Rim and mesa tops with juniper, crispleaf buckwheat, and cliffroses while grasses like needle and thread and sideoats grama dominate the open prairie. Animals depend on plants for food and shelter. People enjoy the shade beneath rustling cottonwoods and the beauty of wildflowers. Unfortunately, some native plants are threatened by invasive non-native weeds, including tamarix and bindweed, an issue both within the park and beyond its boundaries. With thousands of species of plants in the park, only a sampling of species is featured here. Elaeagnus angustifolia* Russian olive Juniperus monosperma one seed juniper Juniperus osteosperma Utah juniper Pinus edulis twoneedle pinyon, pinyon pine Populus angustifoia narrowleaf cottonwood Populus deltoides ssp. wislizeni Fremont cottonwood Populus fremontii Fremont cottonwood Salix exigua narrow leaf willow, coyote willow Salix gooddingii Goodding’s willow Tamarix chinensis* fivestamen tamarix, saltcedar Artemisia bigelovii Bigelow’s sage Artemisia filifolia sand sagebrush Atriplex canescens fourwing saltbush Atriplex confertifolia shadescale saltbush Chrysothamnus greenei Greene’s rabbitbrush Ephedra viridis Mormon tea Ericameria nauseosa ssp. nauseosa var. nauseosa rubber rabbitbrush Eriogonum corymbosum var. aureum crispleaf buckwheat, corymb buckwheat Forestiera pubescens var. pubescens desert olive, New Mexico privet Krascheninnikovia lanata winterfat Lycium pallidum pale wolfberry Purshia stansburiana Stansbury cliffrose Poliomintha incana hoary rosemarymint Rhus trilobata skunkbush sumac Salsola tragus* prickly Russian thistle, tumbleweed Sarcobatus vermiculatus greasewood Cylindropuntia whipplei Whipple cholla Echinocereus coccineus var. coccineus scarlet hedgehog cactus Escobaria vivipara var. arizonica Arizona spinystar Opuntia erinacea grizzlybear pricklypear Opuntia fragilis brittle pricklypear Opuntia macrorhiza var. macrorhiza twistspine pricklypear, plains pricklypear Sclerocactus papyracanthus paperspine fishhook cactus One seed juniper Shrubs Fourwing saltbush Cactus Pricklypear Often Overlooked Orobanche ludoviciana ssp. multiflora manyflowered broomrape Phoradendron juniperinum juniper mistletoe There are also many species of lichens and mosses in the park. Lichen Xanthoria elegans Subshrubs and Perennials Banana yucca Snakeweed Annuals and Biennials Evening primrose Grasses, Reeds, and Sedges Blue grama grass Abronia fragrans snowball sand verbena, fragrant sandverbena Achillea millefolium var. occidentalis Western yarrow, milfoil yarrow Alhagi maurorum* camelthorn Argemone pleiacantha southwestern pricklypoppy Asclepias subverticillata horsetail milkweed Astragalus amphioxys var. amphioxys crescent milkvetch Astragalus flavus yellow milkvetch Astragalus lentiginosus var. diphysus specklepod milkvetch, freckled milkvetch Astragalus mollissimus var. thompsoniae woolly locoweed Calochortus aureus golden mariposa lily Calylophus lavandulifolius lavenderleaf sundrops Castilleja spp.paintbursh Chaetopappa ericoides rose heath Clematis ligusticifolia western white clematis, whitevirgins-bower Comandra umbellata ssp. pallida pale bastard toadflax Convolvulus arvensis* field bindweed Cryptantha flava Brenda’s yellow catseye, yellow cryptanth Cymopterus acaulis var. fendleri Fendler’s springparsley Cymopterus bulbosus bulbous springparsley, corkwing, chimaya Dalea candida var. oligophylla white prairieclover Delphinium scaposum tall mountain larkspur Descurainia pinnata western tansymustard Erigeron compactus fernleaf fleabane, fern-leaf daisy Erigeron concinnus mound daisy Erysimum capitatum var. purshii Pursh’s wallflower Frasera speciosa showy frasera Gaillardia pinnatifida red dome blanketflower, Hopi blanketflower Gilia rigidula ssp. acerosa bluebowls Grindelia nuda var. aphanactis curlytop gumweed Grindelia squarrosa curlycup gumweed Gutierrezia sarothrae broom snakeweed Heliomeris multiflora var. multiflora showy goldeneye Lepidium montanum var. glabrum mountain pepperweed Lesquerella sp. bladderpod Linum lewisii prairie flax Lygodesmia arizonica Arizona skeleton plant Machaeranthera canescens spp. hoary tansyaster Medicago sativa* alfalfa, lucern Mentzelia multiflora mayflowered mentzelia, Adonis blazingstar Mirabilis multiflora Colorado four o’ clock, large four o’ clock Oenothera flava yellow eveningprimrose Oenothera spp. white eveningprimrose Psilostrophe tagetina woolly paperflower Ratibida columnifera upright prairie coneflow

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