Tag Archives: Petrified Forest National Park

Top 5: Arizona Parks & Monuments, Experience AZ, Fall-Winter 2012

Top 5: Arizona Parks & Monuments (Fall-Winter 2012)

The Top 5 Arizona Parks & Monuments — as voted on by Experience AZ readers:

Montezuma Castle National Monument

P.O. Box 219,
Camp Verde, AZ 86322
(928) 567-3322
nps.gov/moca
An enduring legacy of the prehistoric Sinagua. The 20-room stone, timber and adobe dwelling is 80 percent intact, making it one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the United States.


Petrified Forest National Park

1 Park Rd.,
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028
(928) 524-6228
nps.gov/pefo
History speaks volumes as you take in the spectacular scenery in the land where the surroundings have aged for 225 million years, turning wood into stone. The park is located in northeast Arizona, and features one of the world’s largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood.


Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

10 Organ Pipe Dr.,
Ajo, AZ 85321
(520) 387-6849
nps.gov/orpi
The monument exhibits an extraordinary collection of plants of the Sonoran Desert, including the organ pipe cactus, a large cactus rarely found in the U.S.


Saguaro National Park East

3693 S. Old Spanish Tr.,
Tucson, AZ 85743
(520) 733-5158
nps.gov/sagu
With districts skirting the east and west boundaries of Tucson, this national park is home to the most recognizable cactus in the world — the saguaro.


Monument Valley

Bldg. 36A E. Hwy. 264 at Rt. 12,
Window Rock, AZ 86515
navajonationparks.org
This great valley boasts sandstone masterpieces that tower at heights of 400 to 1,000 feet, framed by scenic clouds casting shadows that graciously roam the desert floor. The angle of the sun accents these
graceful formations, providing scenery that is simply spellbinding.

Experience AZ Fall-Winter 2012

 

Top 5 Arizona Monuments & Parks (Spring-Summer 2012)

Top 5: Arizona Monuments & Parks (Spring-Summer 2012)

The Top 5 Arizona Monuments & Parks — as voted on by Experience AZ readers:

Montezuma Castle National Monument

P.O. Box 219,
Camp Verde, AZ 86322
928-567-3322
nps.gov/moca
An enduring legacy of the prehistoric Sinagua. The 20-room stone, timber and adobe dwelling is 80 percent intact, making it one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in the U.S.


Monument Valley

Bldg. 36A E. Hwy. 264 at Route 12
Window Rock, AZ 86515
navajonationparks.org/htm/monumentvalley.htm
This great valley boasts sandstone masterpieces that tower at heights of 400 to 1,000 feet, framed by scenic clouds casting shadows that graciously roam the desert floor. The angle of the sun accents these graceful formations, providing scenery that is simply spellbinding.


Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

10 Organ Pipe Dr.,
Ajo, AZ 85321
520-387-6849
The monument exhibits an extraordinary collection of plants of the Sonoran Desert, including the organ pipe cactus, a large cactus rarely found in the U.S.


Petrified Forest National Park

1 Park Rd.,
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028
928-524-6228
nps.gov/pefo
History speaks volumes as you take in the spectacular scenery in the land where the surroundings have aged for 225 million years, turning wood into stone. The park is located in Northeast Arizona, and features one of the world’s largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood.


Saguaro National Park East

3693 S. Old Spanish Tr.,
Tucson, AZ 85743
520-733-5158
nps.gov/sagu
With districts skirting the east and west boundaries of Tucson, this national park is home to the most recognizable cactus in the world — the saguaro.

Experience AZ Spring-Summer 2012

Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park

Be an archeologist for a day when you visit Arizona’s oldest natural and cultural landscape. Experience more than 13,000 years of human history at the Petrified Forest National Park.

The Petrified Forest National Park became a national monument in 1906 and is most famous for its Late Triassic fossils as well as its abundance of petrified wood.

You can choose to travel through the park by private vehicle, bicycle, motorcycle or comment tour. Travel time is approximately 45 minutes.

Aside from driving through the park, activities include visiting the Painted Desert Visitor Center, which offers book sales, exhibits and Timeless Impressions; a 20-minute orientation film; horseback riding; viewing petrified wood, fossils and displays of prehistoric animals at the Rainbow Forest Museum; stopping at various points with beautiful scenery, such as Kachina Point, and hiking through marked trails like the Puerco Pueblo Trail. There are more than 52,000 acres at the Petrified Forest National Park that visitors can explore.

Photo: planetware.comIf you’d rather go on a guided tour, you can choose from the Painted Desert Inn Tour, the Triassic Program or the Puerco Pueblo Program.

The Painted Desert Inn Tour is held on Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. This tour explores the fascinating past of this National Historic Landmark.

The Triassic Program is held daily at 1 p.m beginning at the Rainbow Forest Museum sunroom. A ranger will explain all there is to know about petrified wood as you walk along the Giant Logs Trail.

Daily at 3 p.m., the Puerco Pueblo Program is offered at the start of the Puerco Pueblo Trail. Learn about the ancestral Puebloan people and see the pueblo they once lived in.

A free-of-charge special program for children is also offered at the Petrified Forest National Park. Junior Ranger Activity Days are held during the summer (July-August) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., which teaches children about Petrified Forest National Park, its animals, plants and ecosystem.

For the older crowd, Sunset Viewings are an ideal way to relax after a long day of hiking. Visitors can watch the sunset over the Painted Desert from Kachina Point. This point can be accessed through the north entrance of the park.

Upcoming special events:

  • May 12: International Migratory Bird Day
  • May 7-13: National Wildflower Week
  • June 14-28: Summer Solstice Celebration — Join rangers at a petroglyph at Puerco Pueblo for a solar interaction between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
  • August 25: The anniversary of the establishment of the National Park Service is celebrated.
  • Cultural Demonstrator Program: On Saturdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day, visit with silversmiths, carvers, weavers, dancers and other demonstrators. Many will have items for sale.
  • Artist in Residence Program: From spring to fall watch artists as they paint, draw or photograph.

Upcoming fee-free weekends:

  • April 21-29: National Park Week
  • June 9: Get Outdoors Day
  • September 29: National Public Lands Day

For more information on Petrified Forest National Park, visit nps.gov.