John Day Fossil Beds National Monument (OR)

One of the most visually striking areas in the Pacific Northwest is one that looks strangely Southwestern. In the arid deserts of eastern Oregon, there are formations that are as unusual as anything in Arizona. John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is also a mother lode for fossils from the Cenozoic era when ancient mammals... Continue Reading →

Petrified Forest National Park (AZ)

Petrified wood is a mysterious byproduct of geological processes. A petrified log looks just like wood on the outside but is usually a jumble of colorful quartz on the inside. How did this come to be? Here too in Petrified Forest National Park is the Painted Desert, the name given to the “badlands” whose outrageous... Continue Reading →

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park (Escalante, UT)

You don't have to go to Petrified Forest National Park to see petrified wood. Along Highway 12, north out of Bryce Canyon National Park, we stopped at Petrified Forest State Park that has some splendid examples of petrified wood. As soon as you take the trail into the hills, you begin to notice some pastel-shaded... Continue Reading →

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (UT)

At 1.9 million acres, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) is the largest park in the Southwest, but one of the least visited. This is one big mother of a park, complete with all the geologic wonders that make the Southwest so visually stunning—hoodoos, slot canyons, buttes, mesas, towering cliffs, all in brilliant colors of vermillion, burnt... Continue Reading →

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