Petrified Wood in the Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Wood III
Multi-colored Petrified Wood

“An enchanted spot…to stand on the glass of a gigantic kaleidoscope, over whose sparkling surface the sun breaks in infinite rainbows.” ~~Charles F. Lummis, Some Strange Corners of Our Country – A Forest of Agate, 1891.

Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park

The Petrified Forest National Park is home to a large region of the Colorado Plateau filled with shards and fallen logs of petrified wood. The fossils have been dated to the Late Triassic period, approximately 225 million years ago.

Petrified Wood VI
Annular Petrified Wood

In the National Park, most of the logs in the park have retained their original form as they petrified, but internal structure was worn away by the elements. A few of the logs and some of the collection of petrified animal bones have cells that retained their original organic structure even though the structures were mineralized.

Petrified Wood
Red Petrified Wood

Much of the park’s petrified wood is from Araucarioxylon arizonicum trees, though at least nine species of fossilized trees have been identified in this petrified forest. All of these species are now extinct.

The International School of Gemology presents an informative and in depth explanation of how wood becomes petrified.

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. Angie Willis says:

    Wonderful photos. I particularly love the first one and am thinking how it might translate into a canvaswork.

  2. Most Excellent. I truly appreciate you images and impressions. They are a ray of sunshine on the days I vistit.

    Today’s post with the petrified wood made me realize that I often take your post for Granite (sorry couldn’t resist). 🙂

    I do always enjoy your work.

  3. These are absolutely astonishing, Bo. One place on my Bucket List for certain is the petrified forest. Lovely – thank you!

  4. Joanne Keevers says:

    Love the close up shots, Bo. So, would I be right in assuming that the surreal landscape in Arizona is all petrified wood? I read through the article on your link “how wood becomes petrified”, which was very interesting, as I was wondering how it eventuated!

    Thank you, Bo. 🙂

  5. Great photos, Bo and an excellent post!

  6. I love the colors and details in your photos, Bo. Beautiful.

  7. Beautiful petrified wood and wonderful perspective shots with the details and colors.

  8. Petrified wood is always so cool looking. I love the colors you brought out.

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