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Visit Petrified Forest National Park, Full of Crystalized Trees!

 If you have no plans for this weekend, let us interest you in a trip to the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. The entire park spans over 150 square miles, and between short drives, sightseeing, and hiking, you can cover the entire park in one full day. 
The Painted Desert
The name of this national park derives from the high concentration of fossilized and crystallized tree logs that are between 205 and 225 million years old. This was called the Upper Triassic period. The stripes of colorful sand on the mountains are painted on naturally by different contents of minerals in the soil.
Petrified Forest National ParkSource
During the Upper Triassic period, all the continents of the earth were still connected in one intact piece called Pangea. In this Pangea, Arizona was far from where it is today, making its climate tropical. Trees grew around water streams, and when they withered, they fell into the water.
Petrified Forest National ParkThe fallen trees created a log jam that got mass petrified together under volcanic ash. The silica contents of the volcanic ash re-crystallized inside the cracks of the trees until they eventually became pure stone and quartz crystals. You can find many colors: blue, green, and grey created by carbon, and beige, yellow, red, and orange created by iron.

The Agate Bridge
Agate bridge in Petrified Forest National Park
This bridge is held up by concrete to keep it from falling. The semi-precious stones that formed in the trees are milky clear quartz, purple amethyst, and yellow citrine. There's also some jasper and agate, as the name of the bridge suggests. 

Route 66

Petrified Forest National Park
The original road went straight through a portion of the park, but the vegetation has grown to cover it. All that's left are electrical lines marking where the road would have been. You can read more about it on a plaque that is situated near this car in the park itself. 

Petrified Trees

Petrified Forest National ParkAn interesting thing to note about the trees themselves is that all of them are fully extinct, making the park a natural open-air nature museum. As mentioned before, these trees grew around 205 to 225 million years ago, in a different climate. Some of them grew 200 feet tall.  
Petrified Forest National Park
Another nice fact is that the park is pet-friendly! As long as you keep them on a leash and pick up after them, your friends on four legs are welcome to accompany you on your day trip. 
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park
Enjoy this video taking you through a day trip at the park: This additional video explores the hiking in-depth:
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