Painted Desert &

Petrified Forest National Parks

Co-located with the Petrified Forest National Park, the Painted Desert has some of the most colorful and breathtaking views of any desert in the world. The main park road stretches 28 miles with many paved pull-offs and overlooks.  This picture was taken at Nizhoni Point.  In Navajo Nizhoni means pretty or beautiful.  Here you will find the site of a 200-million-year unconformity.  This is a gap in the geologic record.  The Bidahochi formation that caps the cliffs was deposited between 4 and 8 million years ago.  The Bidahochi consists of brown mudstone and black basalt that flowed from a volcano that erupted here.  The pink mudstone below belongs to the Chinle formation that was deposited some 225 million years ago.  The question is where did 200 million years of geologic history between the Chinle and Bidahochi formations go?  Ongoing research has uncovered evidence that Native Americans inhabited this area for around 13,000 years.

Picture Number: CM1_0069

Date: September 2015

Camera: Nikon D7100

ISO: 110     Shutter Speed: 1/500 sec

F-Stop: f/8     Lens: 70 mm

Co-located with the Petrified Forest National Park, the Painted Desert has some of the most colorful and breathtaking views of any desert in the world. The main park road stretches 28 miles with many paved pull-offs and overlooks.  This picture was taken at Puerco Pueblo.  Puerco Ruin and Petroglyphs are the ruins of a large Indian pueblo, which reached its peak around 1300 A.D., containing over 100 rooms. It is the largest known archeological site within the Petrified Forest National Park.  The site contains over 800 petroglyphs, incised on more than 100 boulders. One of the petroglyphs which has been uncovered at the site appears to show the migration path from the Puerco Pueblo to the Crack-in-the-Rock site, today located within the Wupatki National Monument dating from approximately 1150 A.D.

Picture Number: CM1_0092

Date: September 2015

Camera: Nikon D7100

ISO: 200     Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec

F-Stop: f/5.6     Lens: 140 mm

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Last updated on 3 October 2020