Instructor: Dan Carroll
The various geological aspects of the Petrified Forest National Park are a result of the ancient river systems which wound their way across the 212 million year old Triassic landscape, leaving behind strikingly beautiful evidence of multiple depositional events.
The banded hills of the Painted Desert speak of changes in groundwater chemistry and the exposures of petrified wood lend their voice about the mineral composition of the sediments these ancient rivers buried them in. Yet another piece of this incredible story is the role erosion has played in this geological musical, creating variegated sandstone hoodoos and exposing the brightly colored petrified logs.
In this fantastic tour, the evidence of those depositional events lie exposed like a Triassic history book, offering a glimpse back into time when colossal forces shaped ancient landscapes.
We’ll spend some time visiting the Ice Cream Rocks to inspect and ponder the remnants of these events and appreciate the artistic prose of a masterful conductor- erosion. From there we’ll journey on through some breathtaking landscapes to a hidden preserve of petrified wood in an area we call the Lumberyard, named for its presentation among petrified chips of wood.
This tour will meet at the Painted Desert Visitor Center (I-40, exit 311) at 8:30 am, where participants will be transported to the exclusive Eastern boundary of our park accessed only by guided tours, and conclude after returning from the visit to the Lumberyard around 1:00 pm.
The route may be a bit of a rough ride at times and the access point to the Ice Cream Rocks requires some light hiking, including a descent of around 100 feet or so. Participants should be in generally good physical shape, wear sun protection, sturdy shoes and carry plenty of water, snacks and/or lunch.
- $89 – Non-Member
- $80 – Member *Learn more at PFMA site
- Meet at Visitor Center; transportation will be provided to site.
- Participants should provide their own sunscreen, insect repellent, hat, light sweater or jacket and sturdy shoes, and water bottles. There is no shade for most of the class, hats are recommended. During monsoon season, gnats and mosquitoes are present and temperatures and conditions can change with little notice.
- Maximum number of participants: 6
- Class registration does not include park entrance fees. For more information, visit the FAQs page.