Magnificent Petrified Forest National Park
embedded in Spectacular Painted Desert
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石化森林國家公園 看不見滿山遍野的森林,僅留下一段段石化了的樹木,以及五彩繽紛
的沙漠景觀,這裡有的是大自然經過 2.20 億年的千錘百煉、翻江倒海將樹木轉化過來的
樹木化石的寶石, 瑪瑙 和 彩色的石英晶體。

Close up view of one of many petrified wood logs (木化石) or fossil logs in Petrified Forest National Park in
Arizona, USA. It took nature 220 million years to create these petrified wood logs here in Petrified Forest
National Park. It is literally "wood turned into stone." Petrified wood is mostly quartz. The physical
characteristics of cylindrical quartz cause it to break cleanly when stressed, resulting in the lengthy
symmetrical segments seen here in this national park.

A mix of silt, mud and volcanic ash buried the logs. This sediment cut off oxygen and slowed the logs' decay.
Then silica laden groundwater seeped through the logs, replacing the original wood tissue with silica and
petrified the wood. All the organic materials have been replaced with minerals (mostly a silicate, such as
quartz), while retaining the original structure of the stem tissue.

The petrified wood displays a variety of colors resulting from the minerals it contains -- pine quartz for white
and gray, iron for the reds, yellows, browns, blues, and greens, and carbon and manganese for the black.
Iron Oxides give the wood its distinctive red, yellow and orange hues. Carbonized organic compounds and
residues yield black, tan and brown tones.

We drove here to tour Petrified Forest National Park in eastern Arizona in the late afternoon of October 13,

The North Entrance of Petrified Forest National Park is near Interstate Highway I-40 Exit # 311 (i.e., Mile Post
311) just west of Holbrook, Arizona. The South Entrance to this national park is at the junction of Hwy 180 and
Petrified Forest Road, Holbrook, Arizona. This national park is about 110 miles east of Flagstaff and about 49
miles west from the boarder of New Mexico.

Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of Petrified Forest National Park
樹幹橫切面形成了調色盤一般的色澤紋理,近觀瑰麗的自然奇景,歷盡滄桑的重生, 讓

The petrifaction process occurs underground, when wood becomes buried under sediment and is initially
preserved due to a lack of oxygen which inhibits aerobic decomposition. Mineral-laden water flowing through
the sediment deposits minerals in the plant's cells; as the plant's lignin and cellulose decay, stone/quartz mould
forms in its place.

Periods of flooding and erosion interspersed with volcanic activity from the south and west carried sediments
and ash downstream, settling over fallen trees in the area. In some cases trees were buried quickly and deeply
enough to deprive them of oxygen, thus significantly slowing the natural decomposition process. Over time,
ground water dissolved silica from volcanic ash into the porous body of fallen, buried trees. This solution
formed quartz crystals that filled hollows and cracks in the logs, eventually 'petrifying' them by encasing and
replacing the trees' organic material with minerals. The wood's brilliant colors come from impurities, such as
iron, carbon, and manganese, in the quartz.

Petrified wood and other organic remains or porous rocks can also become agatized. Agate (瑪瑙) is a
cryptocrystalline variety of silica, chiefly chalcedony, characterized by its fineness of grain and brightness of

220 million years ago, this area had been tropical environment with forest of tall trees. Since then, continents
moved. This region was uplifted and climate changed. Over time, wind and water wore away the rock layers
and exposed fossilized ancient plants and animals.

A much better picture showing the quartz and agate textures of petrified wood can be seen at the following


They call the petrified trees "rainbow rock" for a good reason.

Map: Click here for a simple Park Map of Petrified Forest National park

Map: Click here of detailed Park Map of Petrified Forest National Park

The wood's brilliant colors come from impurities in the quartz, such as iron, carbon, and manganese.
神奇的石化森林國家公園是世界上最大,最絢麗的石化森林集中地, 再加上精彩的彩色沙
筒般粉紅色,紅色和橘色的彩色沙漠 加上 2.20 億年古老的木化石組成了一幅美麗的,攝

Spread across this exotically beautiful and multi-hued vistas are the fallen petrified remains of vast ancient

This national park is the world’s largest concentration of petrified wood, and hence its name of Petrified Forest
National Park. It exposes the fossilized artifacts of the ancient forest. The similar process also created the
beautiful multi-color Painted Desert here.

220 million years ago, this region lay within a heavily wooded, tropical floodplain. Large fallen trees were swept
downstream, eventually settling in and around riverbeds that once rushed through this area.

A possible way for a huge forest with all the tall trees flattened on the ground and covered quickly by thick layer
of ashes is illustrated by the forest devastated by 1980 volcanic eruption of Mount Saint Helens in Washington
State, USA, as shown in the following two pictures:


Similar violent volcanic eruptions 220 million years ago provided at least two important factors for the petrified
forest process, namely the flattened forest and silica producing sediments from the volcanic ash.
著名的瑪瑙之獨木橋, 一段長110英尺的石化了的樹幹 橫跨在這個河床上,已經有幾億

(Agate House),在遍布印第安人英勇足蹟的美洲大陸上,化石林國家公園也還是他們最
早的定居點之一,著名的 “瑪瑙之屋” 便是聰明的印第安人利用園內的化石樹搭建而成。


Agate Bridge - Centuries of scouring floodwater washed out gully beneath this 110-foot petrified log to form
this Agate Bridge. The stone log, harder than the sandstone around it, resisted erosion and remained
suspended as the softer rock beneath it washed away.

Conservationists felt this age-old natural bridge needed support. In 1917, a concrete span was constructed
underneath to support the natural Agate Bridge.

Agate houses were built almost entirely of petrified wood by the ancestors of the modern Pueblo people
about 1,000 years ago. Pictures of the Agate houses can be seen on the following websites:

彩色沙漠奇景 - 落日餘輝,色彩豔麗的彩色沙漠,天然氣魄, 絕世奇觀,老天爺的藝術

The breathtaking Painted Desert in northern part of Petrified Forest National Park in late afternoon of October
13, 2014 near the sunset time – it is when the rocks morph and change into an awe-inspiring canvas of fiery
color. We were lucky to be here at the right time to see and to photograph the spectacular artistic work of the  
nature. ( I used the Super Vivid Mode of my camera in taking such colorful Painted Desert at sunset time.)
彩色沙漠 - 高低起伏的山丘層層疊疊的五顏六色,千姿百態地巍然聳立,在夕陽輝照下更
顯大自然的奇妙,蔚為壯觀, 這是攝影者夢寐以求的美麗景點。

The northern part of Petrified Forest National Park enables visitors to sample a small portion of the immense
area of spectacular Painted Desert. This vast landscape features badland hills and buttes in every hue – from
deep lavenders and rich grays to reds, oranges and even pinks. Deposits of clay and sandstone, stacked in
elegant layers, play with the setting Arizona sun in an altering display of colorful radiance. For the quintessential
Painted Desert experience, don’t miss sunset – it’s when the rocks morph and change into an awe-inspiring
canvas of fiery color. The Painted Desert derives its name for the multitude of colors from different minerals in
the rock. It is a spectacular landscape of a rainbow of colors.

The immense Painted Desert is about 160 miles long by about 60 miles wide, making it roughly 7,500 square
miles in a huge area as shown in the maps in following three websites:

Click here for a map showing location and huge size of the Painted Desert

Click here for the similar map showing location and huge size of the Painted Desert

Click here for the third map showing the location and huge size of Painted Desert

Painted Desert is a huge crescent in shape with northwest point near the eastern outskirts of the Grand
Canyon and the southeast point at the east side of Petrified Forest National Park 26 miles east of Holbrook.
The sheer scale of the Painted Desert boggles the mind almost as much as the Grand Canyon does.
這裡最美麗的景點是 “彩虹森林”,還有 “碧玉森林”、“水晶森林”、“瑪瑙森林”、“黑森
林”和 “藍森林” 等。也有步道讓遊客下車步入木化石群,仔細觀賞每一塊木化石, 甚至

The 28-mile paved Petrified Forest Road and a number of hiking trails give visitors good opportunities to see
many colorful petrified logs up close in the setting of spectacular Painted Desert.
畫面太美, 吸引人駐足觀賞大半天, 大自然竟然情有獨鍾,將神秀盡集於此地,形成了
數百里的天然彩繪沙漠畫廊,實為天下一絕,叫人嘆為觀止, 印象深刻, 不虛此行, 願

Northern part of Painted Desert as viewed at a great distance from Painted Desert Vista in Sunset Crater
Volcano National Monument when we toured this national monument on the afternoon of October 9, 2014.

We flew from Newark Airport in New Jersey to Phoenix Airport in Arizona on October 7, 2014 and got a rental
car from the airport. The driving loop of our 2014 one-week sightseeing tour in Arizona is the following:

Phoenix -> Sedona -> Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument -> Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim) -
> Meteor Crater Natural Landmark -> Petrified Forest National Park and Painted Desert -> Phoenix

The spectacular panoramic photos and associated stories of our 3-day tour of Grand Canyon National Park
(South Rim) are on my web page at:


The photos and associated stories of our 3-day tour of beautiful Sedona are on my web page at;


The photos and associated stories of our tour of Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Little Colorado
River Gorge and Meteor Crater are on my web page at:

Huge number of such colorful petrified logs scattered all over the places in this large national park.

The gray and red colored bands across the landform are typical of many geologic features in the Painted
Here is an seemingly alien landscape formed from erosion of the stratified rock layers. It is like you are in
another world with all the colors and very desolate scene. Great photo opportunities. Very scenic.

Such landscape reminds me of the fantastic "Badlands National Park" in South Dakota as shown on my web
pages at:

視野開闊,石岩景觀, 感慨大自然的鬼斧神工。

It is the most beautiful time of day in the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert.
Rainbow Forest Museum near the South Entrance exhibiting early reptiles, dinosaurs and petrified wood in this
彩虹般各種顏色, 如夢如幻的景色。

The amazing variety of colors comes from the variety of minerals in the rock.

Several overlooks along the scenic Petrified Forest Road provide fantastic long distance vistas of the Painted
Desert and petrified forest.  These overlooks are also for access to hiking trails and picnic areas.
Several hiking trails for visitors to hike into the heart of the colorful “badlands” of the petrified forest.

The petrified wood strewn in this valley was once encased in the bluffs around it.

Long and Short Sections of Petrified Wood:

I did not spent time to hike through many trails in Petrified Forest National Park because I arrived in late
afternoon and I was rushing on the 28-mile Park Road to go to the right outlook spots to catch the fantastic
sunset views.

The Agate Bridge shown below is a long petrified log of 110 feet long and is still not broken yet. One of the
trails in this National Park is Long Log Trail. Some more pictures of long logs taken by other visitors on this
trail are shown in the following links:



On the other hands, the pictures on the following links show why many petrified long trees are broken into
many shorter sections:


In essence, after many million years of erosion, the supporting sedimentary rocks underneath these long
logs have been eroded and washed away. Without the support of the original rocks or stones underneath,
these long stone-logs became hanging in the air with heavy stress. They either fell down or tumbled down
the steep slopes, were broken into many shorter sections and are accumulated in the valley floor below their
original higher positions.
Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark boasts extensive views of the Painted Desert and murals by
Hopi artist.

The vibrancy of the colors of the desert are dependent on the play of the light, especially at sunset time or
sunrise time.

The earth erupts and convulses during the sunset golden hour. It is a feast for your eyes.
遠處看分明是樹木,近看是彩色鮮豔的水晶石頭, 晶瑩剔透,大大小小, 奇形怪狀,石

Close up view of two more sections of Petrified wood.
石化林 -- 走過兩億年的滄桑, 散發出奇異光芒,整個公園如同一個被打翻的巨大珠寶
盒,赤橙黃綠, 琳瑯滿目。
這一片寶石, 令人感嘆到大自然的神奇。
在高地上, 俯瞰那永無止境的地平線, 讓身心與大自然融為一體, 令人眷戀難捨。
奇異的夢幻色調, 漫步其中,别有韵味。

Tourists on the hiking trail.
千奇萬秀, 獨特風格,堪稱絕妙。

Photographers' dream to compose their photos.
非凡镜界,瀟灑走一回,看看大自然的神奇造化, 如夢亦如幻。
丹霞地貌暮色,大自然奇景,遠近高低各不同, 絕佳風景盡收眼底。
日落黃昏,全區視野遼闊, 讓人陶醉其中。
沙漠奇觀,在天高雲淡的高原上, 大自然的讚頌。
太陽金色的餘暉,景色如彩虹般多采多姿, 是一場知覺及視覺的饗宴 。
在湛藍的天空下, 美麗的奇岩怪石,浩瀚遼闊。
接近自然,回歸自然,融合自然, 旅遊是一種心靈的放空, 也是心靈的饗宴!
How I use information age technologies to enhance my enjoyment greatly of sightseeing large driving tour loop
of thousands of miles and of one to two weeks in duration covering many Points of Interest is described on my
web page at: