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Petrified Forest NP, AZ
mini location map2015-05-04
34 by photographer avatarwinotron
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Petrified Forest NP, AZ 
Petrified Forest NP, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 04 2015
winotron
Hiking4.00 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
500 ft AEG2 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
My girlfriend and I stayed the weekend in Pine, intending to take our first trip to Fossil Creek this day, but with a thunderstorm in the forecast, and the fact that it was already raining when we got up, we had to change our plans. We wanted to go somewhere we'd never been before, so we decided to check out the Petrified Forest. Random, I know, considering this is a good 2 hr drive from Pine, but I'm really glad we went. I didn't know much about what to expect from this place, but it was awesome! Didn't realize how big this place is and how much there is to see.

We came in from the south entrance. There were a lot of tourists but it didn't seem especially crowded, since it was a Monday. It was mostly clear when we got there, but we could see a big storm coming in from the south, and soon enough started hearing the thunder. We stopped at pretty much all of the major spots along the way through the park, and hiked all the short trails. The storm was getting closer and closer, and it started lightly raining on us on the Crystal Forest Loop.

By the time we got to the Jasper Forest overlook it started pouring on us, and the thunder was crashing right overhead. We had to get back in the car and wait it out for 20 minutes or so. Once the rain slowed down we continued up the road to the Agate Bridge. That was definitely a cool spot. With all the rain there was water flowing and actually a waterfall under the bridge. There was water flowing all over the park actually, which I'm sure was a sharp contrast to how this park normally looks.

We kept going up to Blue Mesa and that was probably my favorite spot of the day. The Blue Mesa Trail was a great, short hike. It was cool being able to actually go down into the little canyon. Like a lunar landscape down there. There were little streams of milky water flowing all over the place. Pretty much no one else down there with us.

Unfortunately we had to rush a bit by the time we got to Puerco Pueblo. It was already after 4pm and we had a 4 hr drive back home to Phoenix ahead of us. We still had time to stop at a couple of the Painted Desert vistas though. Beautiful. I would love to come back here again with more time for hiking. We stopped at the Falcon Cafe in Winslow for dinner on the way home. We'll never stop there again...
Named place
Named place
Newspaper Rock
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Great wildflower show, which I wasn't expecting. Blankets of flowers all over the place.
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