Petrified Forest National Park

August 3rd, 2011 | Posted by Steve in Arizona

Hi all,

This is the last or next to the last email from my trip a few weeks ago through Arizona with my friend Ron Cipolla.  This trip was to the Petrified Forest National Park.  We entered the park via the I-40 entrance with a stop at the gift shop.  Petrified Forest Road makes a large loop above I-40 before crossing over the Interstate heading south.  The loop has a number of pull offs for viewing the Painted Desert.

Here is pretty good shot of the desert looking north.

And here is a computer constructed panorama from 3 photos looking in a general easterly direction.

Heading south into the park one of the first draws is Newspaper Rock.  This is a couple of very large boulders covered with petroglyphs (etchings in rock).

Visitors are not allowed down to the rocks unless it is after hours with a hired guide.  From the overlook I used my 100-400mm zoom lens to get in close for this snapshot.

There are lots of places to be seen in the Petrified Forest, but after Newspaper Rock we felt pressed for time so we limited our trip to a stop at Blue Mesa.

Blue Mesa is a large scenic area with some concentrations of petrified wood.  It is made up of sedimentary rock called conglomerate.  The conglomerates are layers and layers of cobbles & pebbles.  They were laid down some 225 million years ago.

Here are a few views of the area.  The tilting formations were very interesting.

The vertical [2nd above] is ISO 200, f/16 at 1/250th of a second, 28mm focal length on the 24-105mm lens.


In one area some of the layers have taken on a pinkish tone.

Logs of petrified wood are throughout the Blue Mesa area.  As the hills erode the wood is laid bare.  It begins to stick out from the surrounding rock & sand.  With more erosion it cracks from its own weight and slides down the hill.

This particular rock fall was quite spectacular.  It is ISO 640, f20, 1/400th of a second, 35mm focal length on the 24-105mm lens.

That’s all for now.  There may be one more email from this trip before I run out of photos.



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