Painted Desert Inn

Painted Desert Inn

Window in Adobe © 2013 Bo Mackison

The Painted Desert Inn is within the boundaries of the Petrified Forest National Park and on the original Route 66. It is situated high on a mesa overlooking the Painted Desert.

Painted Desert Inn

Painted Desert Inn © 2013 Bo Mackison

Built in the early 1920s by Herbert D. Lore, it offered lodging and dining in a remote setting on the Colorado Plateau. Purchased by the National Park Service in 1935, it underwent extensive remodeling under the supervision of architect Lyle Bennett. Men in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) did much of the labor.

Painted Desert Inn

Painted Desert Inn © 2013 Bo Mackison

The building’s red-stucco, stone walls are more than two feet thick. Multiple layers, flat roofs with Ponderosa Pine beams, and flagstone courtyards add great character and the high desert sunlight offers contrast between light and shadow.

Outlook Path at Painted Desert Inn

Outlook Path at Painted Desert Inn © 2013 Bo Mackison

Imagine being a visitor to the lodge in the early 1940s. A traveler could get lodging, meals, souvenirs…and an unforgettable view of the setting sun from this overlook point at the rear of the building.

(The inn was restored in 2006 to look as it did in 1946. It is now a museum and a National Historic Landmark.)


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.    As she travels cross-country, she is visiting National Parks and Monuments on her route.




About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Gandalf says:


  2. The first image is especially appealing to me. It captures the feel of the adobe. Excellent composition.

  3. Marcie says:

    What an amazing structure. As if it’s built of earth itself!!

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