Photographer's Note

We stopped at the Painted Desert in AZ on our 2 week road trip at the end of 2003. The Painted Desert covers an area of 93,533 acres that stretches southeast from the Grand Canyon to the Petrified Forest National Park. The desert derives it's name from the multi-hued badlands of the Chinle Formation rocks that cover the park.

This scenic desert is covered by a very soft layer of earth consisting mainly of mud, sandstone and volcanic ash. Various combinations of minerals and decayed plant and animal matter contribute to the various colors seen through the park.

As the Painted Desert erodes from mineralized water flows and mineral deposits, the fossilized artifacts from the Triassic Era (220 million years ago) have become exposed, most notably the remains of an ancient conifer forest.

Today the park is still continually changing as water and wind erode the area and shift the sediment causing lower layers of fossil and petrified wood to surface.

A 10 mile paved road runs throughout the park providing quite a few pull off points with plaques explaining the geology and coloration within the park.

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Additional Photos by Julie Wyatt (j_wyatt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 113 W: 55 N: 131] (685)
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