Petrified Forest National Park
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About the Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park is an American national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. Named for its large deposits of petrified wood, the park covers about 346 square miles (900 square kilometers), encompassing semi-desert shrub steppe as well as highly eroded and colorful badlands. The park is known for its fossils, especially fallen trees that lived in the Late Triassic Epoch, about 225 million years ago. The sediments containing the fossil logs are part of the widespread and colorful Chinle Formation, from which the Painted Desert gets its name.
Top 3 Adventure Hacks for Petrified Forest National Park
1) Enjoy The Trails
One of the best ways to enjoy and experience the Park is on foot. Best to stay on designated trails while in developed hiking areas. Off-trail hiking can damage the fragile grassland environment and disturb the wildlife habitat, bicycle and ebikes are not allowed on trails, except for the half mile access trail that leads to the junction between the Long Logs and Agate House Trails. Pets are allowed on the developed trails, but make sure to always kept them on leash.
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2) Discover Fossils At The park
Petrified National Park is known for its fossils, Fossils are the remains of once-living animals, it can provide evidence for the appearance, behavior, physiology, and ecology of groups of organisms that have been extinct for millions of years. Combined with the data provided by the surrounding rocks, fossils tell the stories of ancient ecosystems.
Petrified Forest has plant and animal fossils from the Triassic Period, going back over 200 million years. The Triassic Period is sometimes referred to as the “Dawn of the Dinosaurs” because it is the time before the Jurassic Period when dinosaurs ruled the earth.
Fossils are federally protected, so if you see them, admire with your eyes, and leave them alone.
3) Expect Variable Weather
It is always best to check out the weather forecast before planning to the park accordingly, Petrified Forest National Park is a semi-arid grassland. Temperatures range from above 100° F (38° C) to well below freezing. About 10 inches (25.4 cm) of moisture comes during infrequent snow in the winter and often violent summer thunderstorms. Winter winds can reach 60 miles per hour, Summer breezes are lighter, but the 10-mile-per-hour average wind causes frequent sandstorms and dust devils, some of which reach altitudes of several thousand feet.
Rain is heaviest from July to September; August is generally the wettest month. Petrified Forest National Park has a chance of light snow from October to March, although snow cover rarely persists.
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