|Can you imagine trying to cross this terrain? No wonder so much of this area is called the Badlands.|
It's difficult to believe, looking at this barren, wind-scoured alien landscape, that 200 million years ago this area where dinosaurs roamed was a verdant valley studded with tall stands of conifers and crisscrossed by streams.
Trying to separate the Petrified Forest from the Painted Desert, where one blends into the other with no demarcations, is like trying to separate the dancer from the dance, so, David and I didn't even try. We drove the 28-mile road through the park stopping at most every overlook, and taking in two of the three visitor centers (all of which have toilet facilities and and items for sale), all the while enjoying our two-amazing-places-for-one experience.
There are many hiking trails in the park where you can view petroglyphs and exhibits as well as the striking scenery, but we didn't do that because the winds were so strong that dust kept blowing into my contact lens. We were told that earlier in the morning might be a better time to visit this area because the winds are weaker then.
|Even the raven has difficulty fighting the wind.|
* This is the adult admission price the National Park charges, but remember, if you are at least 62, you can get the last great bargain in American; the Senior Pass, $10, will admit you to this park and all other National Parks for free.