petrified forest + painted desert

A really great spot we happened upon was Petrified Forest National Park.

You probably won’t want to spend a week there, but it’s a fascinating and beautiful day trip at least.

They do have backcountry camping, but I would not advise it in the summer.

Thankfully, we had great clouds and summer storms to add to the already dramatic landscape.

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Remnants of ancient trees litter the desert…. now huge, colorful stones that were once a lush forest.

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And the painted desert!  Probably my favorite section of this park, for the amazing earthen colors and big blue sky.

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The historic Painted Desert Inn.  Worth a quick stop.  Ask a ranger to show you one of the rooms… amazing!  Great views too.

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all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013