I headed up the Petrified Forest this past weekend, really wanting to do this hike and take lots of pictures. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate. On Saturday I entered the park from the South, but I did not get there until 2 P.M. or so. I decided to check out some touristy spots and lingered around the Crystal Forest area taking photos.
Back in the north end of the park on Sunday, I decided to give the hike a try even though melting snow had made the area a muddy mess. The hike started next to the Painted Desert Inn, down a series of switchbacks to the floodplain below. This part had the worst mud; the kind that sticks to your shoes making them weigh a ton and making you 3 inches taller. Once down at the bottom of the wash the mud was not as bad. The ground is covered with petrified wood and rocks of all colors. Simply amazing! Dark clouds were looming nearby, so I decided to look for the petroglyphs that PageRob mentions in his hike description instead of going the whole way to the Onyx Bridge. Once out of the wash and into the floodplain, I headed west, northwest, and hugged the contour of the washes and hills coming off the mesa that the inn sits on. After walking for maybe a half hour or so, I found them. Oh man, they were awesome! A flat boulder turned on end, covered head to toe in all sorts of symbols. I quickly took some pictures just as it started raining. It was as if a Native American spirit let me have enough time to find the petroglyphs and then was trying to tell me to leave. The rain was coming down harder and I wasn't really wanting to get too muddy, so I turned back.
I am planning to go back in a few weeks to see the Bridge. Hopefully I will find more petroglyphs and artifacts to photograph. My PC is broken, but as soon as it is up and running again, I will post pics.