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Petrified Forest National Park/USA

Introducing Petrified Forest National Park

Strewn with broken, horizontal fossilized logs predating the dinosaurs, this national park (928-524-6228; www.nps.gov/pefo; per vehicle $10) is an extraordinary site. The petrified-wood fragments are quite exquisite, and many are infused with startlingly deep color. The park’s appeal is heightened by the stunning landscape of the Painted Desert, which changes hue as the sun shifts across the sky. The kaleidoscope of reds, pinks and oranges combined with the 225-million-year-old pieces of wood is a beautiful, almost haunting, sight.

The park straddles I-40 at exit 311, 25 miles east of Holbrook. From this exit, a 28-mile paved park road offers a splendid scenic drive. Apart from short trails at some of the pullouts, there are no maintained trails, campsites or accommodations.