Few places demonstrate layers of time more mysteriously than the Petrified Forest National Park of Arizona. This park is truly other-worldly. Wandering down the long and lonely roads here, it’s impossible not to hear voices echoing from days long gone.
How can you not hear the past?
The signs of history are stark in their visibility; from the colored geologic layers in the landscape, to the petrified wood, and even signs of humans who have come and gone with the howling wind. The sun rises and sets in a timeless rhythm, untouched from the hustle and bustle of cities far, far away from here.
If you need a place to reflect on your past for guidance on the steps ahead, then the Petrified Forest is it. Sit among fossilized fallen trees dating from the Late Triassic Period – about 225 million years ago – and enjoy a night sky full of stars for company.
Listen to the wisdom of a quiet and still nature.
Here you can discover much with a stark reminder of how short our time has been on this Earth. We have existed for a fraction of a second in a long life, and hiking the Petrified Forest trails puts things into perspective. It’s a harsh landscape of rock and stone where you feel tiny, but look closely and you will discover so much vibrancy too.
Not only in the form of wildlife, but oh the colors! The Painted Desert contains swathes of color from the Chinle Formation, from which the fossil logs are also formed.
And camping for the full experience is easy: all you need is a permit to stay within the park, or even better you can camp for free on the perimeter of the park.