The Petrified Forest is an American National Park located in east-central Arizona, about 25 miles east of Holbrook, Az. The park averages about 5400 feet in elevation and has a dry, windy climate with summer temperatures averaging about 100 degrees F. and winter temperatures reaching well below freezing. The park covers 230 sq. mi. and contains thousands of petrified logs, along with areas known as the painted desert. The petrified logs are left from the late Triassic Period, about 225 million years ago. Beginning about 60 million years ago, the Colorado Plateau was pushed upward by tectonic forces exposing fossils, logs and beautifully colored layers of earth. The logs resulted from downed trees that were buried by volcanic ash and ultimately formed quartz crystals that replaced the organic matter inside the logs. These crystallized logs remain on the surface today and are dramatic and beautiful. Over these many centuries erosion exposed the beautifully colored layers of rock throughout the park to which the name Painted Desert is aptly applied.
February 9th, 2020
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