Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park is an American national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. Named for its large deposits of petrified wood, the park covers about 346 square miles (900 square kilometers), encompassing semi-desert shrub steppe as well as highly eroded and colorful badlands. The park's headquarters is about 26 miles (42 km) east of Holbrook along Interstate 40 (I-40), which parallels the BNSF Railway's Southern Transcon, the Puerco River, and historic U.S. Route 66, all crossing the park roughly east–west. The site, the northern part of which extends into the Painted Desert, was declared a national monument in 1906 and a national park in 1962. The park received 644,922 recreational visitors in 2018.

Averaging about 5,400 feet (1,600 m) in elevation, the park has a dry windy climate with temperatures that vary from summer highs of about 100 °F (38 °C) to winter lows well below freezing. More than 400 species of plants, dominated by g...Read more

Petrified Forest National Park is an American national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. Named for its large deposits of petrified wood, the park covers about 346 square miles (900 square kilometers), encompassing semi-desert shrub steppe as well as highly eroded and colorful badlands. The park's headquarters is about 26 miles (42 km) east of Holbrook along Interstate 40 (I-40), which parallels the BNSF Railway's Southern Transcon, the Puerco River, and historic U.S. Route 66, all crossing the park roughly east–west. The site, the northern part of which extends into the Painted Desert, was declared a national monument in 1906 and a national park in 1962. The park received 644,922 recreational visitors in 2018.

Averaging about 5,400 feet (1,600 m) in elevation, the park has a dry windy climate with temperatures that vary from summer highs of about 100 °F (38 °C) to winter lows well below freezing. More than 400 species of plants, dominated by grasses such as bunchgrass, blue grama, and sacaton, are found in the park. Fauna include larger animals such as pronghorns, coyotes, and bobcats; many smaller animals, such as deer mice, snakes, lizards, and seven kinds of amphibians; and more than 200 species of birds, some of which are permanent residents and many of which are migratory. About one third of the park is designated wilderness—50,260 acres (79 sq mi; 203 km2).

The Petrified Forest is known for its fossils, especially fallen trees that lived in the Late Triassic Epoch, about 225 million years ago. The sediments containing the fossil logs are part of the widespread and colorful Chinle Formation, from which the Painted Desert gets its name. Beginning about 60 million years ago, the Colorado Plateau, of which the park is part, was pushed upward by tectonic forces and exposed to increased erosion. All of the park's rock layers above the Chinle, except geologically recent ones found in parts of the park, have been removed by wind and water. In addition to petrified logs, fossils found in the park have included Late Triassic ferns, cycads, ginkgoes, and many other plants as well as fauna including giant reptiles called phytosaurs, large amphibians, and early dinosaurs. Paleontologists have been unearthing and studying the park's fossils since the early 20th century.

The park's earliest human inhabitants arrived 13,000 years ago. These Clovis-era people are the ancestors of Native Americans. By about 2,500 years ago Ancestral Pueblo farmers were growing corn and living in subterranean pit houses in what would become the park. By one-thousand years ago Ancestral Pueblo farmers lived in above-ground, masonry dwellings called pueblos and gathered in large communal buildings called great kivas. By AD 1450 Ancestral Pueblo farmers in the Petrified Forest migrated to join rapidly growing communities on the Hopi Mesas to the northwest and the Pueblo of Zuni to the east–these locations are still home to thousands of descendant community members today. More than 1000 archeological sites, including petroglyphs, have been discovered in the park. These ancestral places remain important to descendant communities. In the 16th century, Spanish explorers visited the area, and by the mid-19th century a U.S. team had surveyed an east–west route through the area where the park is now located and noted the petrified wood. Later, roads and a railway followed similar routes and gave rise to tourism and, before the park was protected, to large-scale removal of fossils. Theft of petrified wood remains a problem in the 21st century.

Pre-United States
Ruins at Puerco Pueblo consisting of very low walls, about a meter (three feet) tall, of stacked reddish-brown rocks forming the rectangular shapes of a multi-room structure, surrounded by short greenish, yellow desert vegetation slightly taller than the walls 
Ruins at Puerco Pueblo in 2010
Two bowls about 8.75 inches in diameter and about 3.75 inches tall, one is yellowish-brown with intricate dark patterns, while the other is reddish-brown with light-colored lines, found at the Stone Axe Ruin in Arizona 
Bowls, Stone Axe Ruin

More than 1200 archeological sites have been found inside the boundaries of Petrified Forest National Park. Evidence suggests that the earliest inhabitants of the park arrived over 12,000 years ago. Clovis and Folsom-type spear points made from petrified wood are among the earliest artifacts of Paleoindians found in the park. Between 8,000 and 1,000 BCE, the Archaic Period, nomadic groups established seasonal camps in the Petrified Forest from which they hunted game such as rabbits, pronghorn antelope, and deer and harvested seeds from Indian ricegrass and other wild plants. By at least 1000 BCE and through the Basketmaker II period (400 BCE–500 CE)Ancestral Puebloan farmers began to grow corn. Between 200–500 CE population size grew rapidly. Many families built houses in the Petrified Forest and for the first time began to stay there year-round.[1]

During the Basketmaker III period, 500–700 CE, families occupied shallow subterranean pit structures, at first on mesas or other vantage points and later at the base of bluffs and in lowlands, where the soil was better. Settlement patterns shifted and population size grew during the Pueblo I era between 700 and 900 CE and for the first time large groups of families aggregated together and formed large villages. During this period, each household built large well-insulated subterranean residential pit structures to keep warm during the cold winter months and several adjacent above ground rooms made from stone and jacal similar to adobe—used for food storage and daily activities during the warmer months. During the early Pueblo II period (900–1050 CE) Ancestral Pueblo farmers began constructing above-ground masonry architecture (for example Agate House, a small masonry structure built from petrified wood that is open to the public) signaling a greater degree of residential permanence. During the Late Pueblo II and Early Pueblo III periods 1050–1225 local population size grew rapidly. Similar to much of the Ancestral Pueblo world, population density increased rapidly at this time and nearly 1,000 sites dating to this period have been identified in the park at a wide variety of locations—at the mouths of washes, near seeps, and on moisture-holding sand dunes.[2]

Images of animals, people, and geometric figures incised on the dark vertical face of a large rock Petroglyphs pecked into desert varnish in Petrified Forest National Park

Between 1250 and 1450 CE Ancestral Pueblo families gathered into large apartment building-like masonry structures (also known as pueblos) with several hundred people living together in close quarters These large villages were often located near important water sources.[3] Ancestral Pueblo people constructed more than two of these large pueblos, one called Stone Axe, about 0.5 miles (0.8 km) east of the park, and the other at Puerco Pueblo, which overlooks the Puerco River near the middle of the park.[4] There they built roughly 200 rooms around an open plaza.[4] Some rooms had no windows or doors and could be entered by climbing a ladder and descending through a hole in the roof. At its peak, perhaps 200 people lived in this pueblo.[4] Over time, however, Ancestral Pueblo families undertook migrations and joined rapidly growing towns on the Hopi Mesas in Northern Arizona and at the Pueblo of Zuni in northern New Mexico, where the descendants of the ancient Petrified Forest farmers still live today. Some researchers have argued that a persistently dry climate led to out-migration, and the last residents left Puerco Pueblo in about 1380 CE.[5]

At Puerco Pueblo and many other sites within the park, petroglyphs—images, symbols, or designs—have been scratched, pecked, carved, or incised on rock surfaces, often on a patina known as desert varnish. Most of the petroglyphs in Petrified Forest National Park are thought to be between 650 and 2,000 years old.[6]

From the 16th through the 18th centuries, explorers looking for routes between Spanish colonies along the Rio Grande to the southeast and other Spanish colonies on the Pacific coast to the west passed near or through the area, which they called El Desierto Pintado, the Painted Desert. However, the park's oldest Spanish inscriptions, left by descendants of the region's early Spanish colonists, date only to the late 19th century.[7]

United States A sandy stream bed. In places, the sand is darkened by moisture. Lithodendron Wash in the designated wilderness in the north part of the park. Amiel Whipple surveyed along the wash in 1853.

After the Southwest became part of the U.S., explorers continued to look for good east–west routes along the 35th parallel. In 1853, a crew led by U.S. Army Lieutenant Amiel Whipple surveyed along a sandy wash in the northern part of the Petrified Forest. So impressed was Whipple by the petrified wood along the banks of the arroyo that he named it Lithodendron Creek (Stone Tree Creek). Geologist Jules Marcou, a member of the Whipple expedition, observed that the petrified trees were from the Triassic.[7]

A slightly later route along the parallel was a wagon road, built between 1857 and 1860, that involved experimental use of camels as transport. In the late 19th century, settlers and private stagecoach companies followed similar east–west routes. Homesteaders who stayed in the area developed cattle ranches on the grasslands, and cattle grazed in the Petrified Forest until the mid-20th century.[7]

Also close to the 35th parallel was the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. Its opening in the early 1880s led to the founding of towns like Holbrook and Adamana. Visitors could stop at the Adamana train station, book a hotel room, and take a tour of what was then called the Chalcedony Forest. Over the years, the line changed hands, becoming the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, and then the BNSF. More than 60 BNSF trains, mostly carrying freight, pass through the park every day. U.S. Route 66, a former transcontinental auto highway developed in 1926 from part of the National Old Trails Road, ran parallel to the railroad tracks until it was decommissioned in 1985. The park has preserved within its boundaries a small grassy section of the road. Interstate 40, which crosses the park, replaced the older highway.[7]

The hulk of an old car mounted on supports above a bed of gravel Exhibit commemorating U.S. Route 66, a historic transcontinental highway that passed through the park

Increasing tourist and commercial interest in petrified wood during the late 19th century began to alarm residents of the region. In 1895, the Arizona Territorial Legislature asked the U.S. Congress to create a petrified forest national park. Although this first attempt failed, in 1906 the Antiquities Act signed by President Theodore Roosevelt was used to create the Petrified Forest National Monument as the second national monument. Between 1934 and 1942, the federal Civilian Conservation Corps built road, trails, and structures in the monument, and the government acquired additional land in the Painted Desert section. The monument became a national park in 1962. Six years after the signing of the Wilderness Act in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, wilderness areas (where human activity is limited), were designated in the park. In 2004, President George W. Bush signed a bill authorizing the eventual expansion of the park from 93,353 acres (about 146 mi2 or 378 km2) to 218,533 acres (about 341 mi2 or 884 km2).[7] Theft of petrified wood is still a problem. Despite a guard force of seven National Park Service rangers, fences, warning signs, and the threat of a $325 fine, an estimated 12 short tons (11,000 kg) of the fossil wood is stolen from the Petrified Forest every year.[8]

Jessee Walter Fewkes, the first archeologist to visit Puerco Ruin, predicted in the late 19th century that it would yield many artifacts.[9] Conservationist John Muir conducted the first excavations of the ruin in 1905–06. Although he did not publish his findings, he urged the federal government to preserve Petrified Forest.[9] Professional archeological work in the park began in the early 20th century when Walter Hough conducted excavations at Puerco Ruin and other sites.[7] In the 1930s, the Civil Works Administration funded research in the park by archeologists H.P. Mera and C.B. Cosgrove.[7] A National Park Service resurvey of the Petrified Forest in the early 1940s identified most of the large sites with stone ruins, and subsequent surveys since 1978 have identified a total of more than 600 artifact sites, many of them small.[9]

The earliest paleontological exploration of the region that is now the park was made in 1899 by paleobotanist Lester Ward, material of which is now deposited in the Smithsonian Institution. Muir also collected some fossil material, which is now deposited at the University of California Museum of Paleontology. In 1919, a phytosaur skull was discovered near Blue Mesa in the Petrified Forest by Ynez Mexia and sent to the Museum of Paleontology in Berkeley.[10][7] In 1921, Annie Alexander, founder of the museum, visited Blue Mesa to collect more of the phytosaur and other specimens; this led to further excavations by paleontologist Charles Camp.[7] Camp was the most prolific collector in the early 20th century, but collections were also made by Maurice Mehl (University of Missouri), Edwin Colbert (American Museum of Natural History), and park naturalists like Myrl Walker. In the latter half of the 20th century, the park was inventoried by staff at the Museum of Northern Arizona (Richard Cifelli, Will Downs), with renewed collection made by researchers from Berkeley (Robert Long, Kevin Padian), the University of Chicago (Michael Parrish), the Field Museum of Natural History (John Bolt), and Yale University (Paul Olsen). Since then, more than 300 fossil sites have been documented in the park.[11] Research in paleontology and archeology continues at the park in the 21st century.[7]

^ Jones, pp. 9–11. ^ Jones, pp. 11–13. ^ Jones, p. 15. ^ a b c Jones, p. 18. ^ Jones, p. 21. ^ "Messages on Stone" (PDF). National Park Service. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 7, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2010. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Cite error: The named reference NPS history was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ "Petrified Forest Shrinks, One Stolen Piece at a Time". The New York Times. November 28, 1999. Retrieved November 6, 2008. ^ a b c Jones, pp. 37–39. ^ Cite error: The named reference :0 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Cite error: The named reference :6 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
Photographies by:
Adbar - CC BY-SA 3.0
Statistics: Position
265
Statistics: Rank
263418

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
Security
952387416Click/tap this sequence: 8636
Esta pregunta es para comprobar si usted es un visitante humano y prevenir envíos de spam automatizado.

Google street view

Where can you sleep near Petrified Forest National Park ?

Booking.com
572.792 visits in total, 9.238 Points of interest, 405 Destinations, 464 visits today.