Sunday
Jul082012

Petrified Forest National Park

Tour Description: Petrified Forest National Park is located 120 miles east of Flagstaff, near Holbrook, Arizona. It features world-renowned exposures of petrified wood, preserved from trees growing in Arizona during the Triassic period,  225 million years ago. The tour starts at the north entrance adjacent to the Painted Desert. This area is noted for its brilliant colors in the volcanic ash and clay beds making up the Triassic Chinle formation. After stopping at several view points, the tour will visit the Painted Desert Inn, an historic landmark that originally served as a Fred Harvey inn and restaurant for Painted Desert visitors on old US Route 66. Heading south in the park, the tour will stop at various points to see Newspaper Rock, a collection of 650 petroglyphs; Blue Mesa, a 3-mile loop road with views of badlands, log falls, and pedestal logs; and additional points to see exposures of exquisitely colorful petrified logs. Leaving the park via the south entrance, the tour stops at a rock shop where samples of petrified wood collected outside the park and similar objects can be purchased.

Recommended Length: The drive to and from the park takes approximately 2 hours each way so the tour is best done as a full day trip. It is recommended that it be combined with a tour of Meteor Crater and Winslow, Arizona, to round out the day.

Price Range: Tour rates for a full day are $250 for a group of up to 4 people and $300 for larger groups. Not included is the cost of transportation, which can be arranged. Entrance to Petrified Forest National Park is $10 per vehicle and is not included. Meals are available at a Fred Harvey restaurant in the park and in the town of Holbrook, west of the main entrance.