I've been sitting on my Spring Break trip photos for months and months now, and I've finally decided to get myself in gear and write about it! The main point of the trip was to visit Mammoth Cave National Park and the Grand Canyon National Park, but due to some unforeseen circumstances and flexibility Outdoor Pursuits decided to add a few other national parks on the fly, one of which was Petrified Forest National Park. I'll be making a really big post chronicling the whole trip soon, but for now I'd like to focus on Petrified Forest.
|The view from Tiponi Point. We actually visited on a rare day with rain showers, which you can see in the photo above.|
We began our tour in the northern portion of the park. Most of the landscape in Petrified Forest National Park is an example of badlands. Badlands form when soft sedimentary rocks are heavily eroded by water and wind. The best known example of badlands is Badlands National Park in South Dakota, but they occur throughout the world. In the case of Petrified Forest, these badlands are made primarily from layers of soft siltstone, mudstone, and shale. The vast majority of rocks exposed at Petrified Forest belong to the Chinle Formation, a formation which dates to the late Triassic. Select areas of the park also exhibit rocks from the Bidahochi Formation. This formation was formed from a mix of lake and volcanic sediments, but most of it has eroded from the park. Pilot Rock - which is the large, shadowy hill looming on the left side of the horizon in the photo above - is, for example, capped by rocks of the Bidahochi Formation.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more posts from out West!