October 26 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm MST
Instructor: Christa Sadler
Petrified Forest is one of the most beautiful and fantastical landscapes anywhere, and the national park is known as one of the best records of Late Triassic paleontology and geology in the world; important new finds are being made regularly here.
But the thing that always amazes people more than any other feature at the park is the incredible petrified wood that literally lies scattered across the landscape. The wood and the beautifully colored rocks tell an amazing story of ancient rivers flowing across a supercontinent that stretched end to end on our globe, and of all the creatures and plants that called that land home between 225 and 200 million years ago.
Join us on this full-day adventure in the Petrified Forest’s Blue Forest—a unique area within the park—as we explore the park’s geology, paleontology, history, flora and fauna, and whatever other surprises we discover!
We will begin with a short introduction at the Rainbow Forest Museum at the park’s southern entrance to learn about the park’s unique natural and cultural history. Following this, we will carpool to the trailhead for the Blue Forest hike, stopping along the way to point out interesting features.
The Blue Forest Trail is 3.0 miles round trip. The hike begins at the Tepees and follows the old historic trail built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930s. The trail takes us through the lovely blue badlands of the Blue Forest.
The colorful rock layers span four million years of Earth’s history, complete with petrified wood to examine, making it an exceptional area to explore the nature of Petrified Forest National Park.
- Meeting time: 9:00 AM
- Class will be over by 3:00 PM
- $165 – Non-Member
- $130 – Member *Learn more at PFMA site
- Trail length: 3 miles, elevation change of 200 feet one way.
- Difficulty: moderate; there are some steep and scrambly areas, and a couple of narrow ridgelines to follow for a short distance.
- Please wear sturdy shoes and sun and rain protection. Bring a lunch and two liters of water in a small daypack.
- Other useful items: binoculars, camera, and walking stick(s)
- Class registration does not include park entrance fees. For more information, visit the FAQs page.
Maximum number of participants: 10
Minimum age of participants: 15 (must be accompanied by parent or guardian)