Petrified Forest National Park Facts

Petrified Forest National Park Facts
Petrified Forest National Park is a more than 120,000 acre park located in northern Arizona in the United States. The park was given its name because the deposits of petrified wood dating back as far as 225 million years ago in the Late Triassic Period. The petrified wood is only one type of fossil found there, and because of these fossils the park has been popular with paleontologists since the early 1900s. In 1906 the region gained protection as a national monument. In 1962 it was re-designated as Petrified Forest National Park. Despite being a protected area, there are still issues with people stealing petrified wood from the park.
Interesting Petrified Forest National Park Facts:
There are believed to have been people inhabiting the area now designated as Petrified Forest National Park dating back to 8,000 -10,000 years ago.
There are more than 800 important historical or archeological sites located within Petrified Forest National Park.
The only national park in the U.S. to contain a portion of the famous and historic Route 66 is Petrified Forest National Park.
There are 50,000 acres in Petrified Forest National Park that will never be developed with roads or trails as it is designated as wilderness.
Congress approved the boundary line of the park to be expanded as large as 221,551 acres in 2004. If it is completed the park will grow from 123,000 acres to almost 100,000 acres more.
Petrified wood is colorful. It can appear blue, orange, red, purple, yellow, black, brown, and white. These colors are created from the minerals quartz, manganese, and iron oxides.
Much of Petrified Forest National Park is shortgrass prairie (grassland).
There is a site with remnants of a house built from petrified wood dating back to AD 1100-1150. It is called Agate House and is located within Petrified Forest National Park. It is a popular tourist attraction.
There are nine sites in the park listed on the National Register of Historic Places including the Painted Desert Visitor Center, Painted Desert Inn, Agate House Pueblo, Painted Desert Petroglyphs and Ruins Archeological District, Puerco Ruins and Petroglyphs, Newspaper Rock Petroglyphs Archeological District, Twin Buttes Archeological District, 35th Parallel Route, and the Flattops Site.
Wildlife found with Petrified Forest National Park includes foxes, coyotes, bobcats, prairie dogs, pronghorns, antelope squirrels, lizards, snakes, salamanders, toads, mule deer, scorpions, and at least 216 bird species.
Approximately 800,000 people visit Petrified Forest National Park each year. Visitors can enjoy hiking, backpacking, camping in the wilderness area, wildlife viewing, photography, sightseeing, and viewing historical sites.
The air in Petrified Forest National Park is so clean that it is federally protected.
People have taken so much of the petrified wood from the park, polished, and sold it, often for thousands of dollars, that the landscape is now almost empty of the fossilized wood in many cases.
Some of the most popular places to visit include Agate Bridge, Crystal Forest, Agate House, Jasper Forest, Newspaper Rock, Tawa Point, Tiponi Point, Giant Logs, Long Logs, and Puerco Pueblo.

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