Arizona's Petrified National Forest

Arizona's Petrified National Forest

Riding Through Time: A Scenic Road Trip to Arizona's Petrified National Forest

This one's been on our list for quite some time and we're glad we were able to make it happen this trip! The first 2 days of the tour had some unexpected turns, but what's a good road trip story without a few obstacles along the way?

We started out the day in the historic Route 66 Town of Winslow, Arizona with a quick breakfast  at the Flatbed Ford Cafe before packing up the bikes and getting on the road. The stretch on I40 from Winslow to the National Park is only about 50 miles so we took our time, enjoying the vivid desert scenery along the way. 

"Petrified Forest is best known for its Triassic fossils. It's like having two parks in one, an ecosystem over 200 million years old with plants and animals now represented in the surreal landscape of the Painted Desert. There is also a living park with its own denizens adapted to a demanding environment."

The Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona is a captivating testament to ancient geological processes and the prehistoric landscape of the region. Dating back over 200 million years, during the Late Triassic period, this area was a lush, tropical floodplain teeming with diverse flora and fauna. Over time, fallen trees were buried by sediment and volcanic ash, and the absence of oxygen slowed the decay process. The trees' organic material was gradually replaced by minerals, resulting in the remarkable petrified wood that we see today. Erosion exposed these vibrant, fossilized logs, revealing a colorful spectrum of quartz, jasper, and other minerals. The park not only preserves this fascinating fossil record but also showcases unique geological formations, such as the badlands and painted desert, providing visitors with a captivating journey through both time and the earth's dynamic history.

We cruised through the park, enjoying the 28 mile loop with stops and viewpoints along the way, marveling at the diverse scenery and vastness of the park. Despite being a "forest" most of the trees are deep within the ground, leaving remnants in ditches and plains throughout. Whether it was the day of the week or the time of year, it wasn't very crowded and we felt like we had the place to ourselves!

After exiting the park, we hopped back on I40 for a stretch before exiting onto US-180 to ride through the beautiful snow-covered Fort Valley, eventually deciding to call it a day in the Route 66 Town of Williams, Arizona. Surprise, surprise...

With another day's adventure coming to a close, we checked into the Rodeway Inn and walked down the street to find some warmth and enjoy a great meal at one of our favorite local spots, The Italian Bistro. With a quick nightcap at the Canyon Club Bar, we hit the hay and rested up for our final day of the trip...

See you down the road..

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