• Jasper Forest is magical in twilight, particularly the logs on stone pedestals

    Petrified Forest

    National Park Arizona

Celebrate National Fossil Day at Petrified Forest National Park

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Date: September 28, 2011
Contact: Sarah Hervé, 928-524-6228 x264

Petrified Forest, AZ- National Fossil Day is Wednesday, October 12, part of Earth Science Week. National Fossil Day is a celebration organized by the National Park Service to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational values. Petrified Forest is the perfect park in which to celebrate National Fossil Day!

Park staff will be conducting a guided hike in an area called the "Clam Beds" as well as behind the scenes tours of the paleontology laboratory and museum collections. The laboratory tours will focus on how fossils are collected, cleaned, and entered into the park museum collection for preservation and future study. Participants will be able to view the fossil bones of a variety of ancient animals that lived in the area during the time of the dinosaurs.

The guided hike will briefly discuss the local geological history, as well as visit areas normally closed to the public. Participants will learn about the Late Triassic landscape and its inhabitants, as well as experience how fossils are discovered and collected. The hike is considered moderately strenuous with a total distance of approximately 1 mile. This hike is not recommended for young children under the age of 7 or for persons with medical conditions that preclude walking long distances and climbing up and down rock hills. Closed toe shoes and water to drink are required. Please remember that collection of fossils from the park without a valid research permit is not allowed by law.

The lab and collections tours will meet at the Painted Desert Visitor Center:

9:30 to 10:30 am

11:00 am to 12:00 pm

1:00-2:00 pm

2:30-3:30 pm

The hike will meet at the Rainbow Forest Museum at 10:00 am and will last until 12:00 pm.

Meet the fossils of Petrified Forest. Come on out and enjoy National Fossil Day in your national park!

For information call (928) 524-6228, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST); or write to the Superintendent, Petrified Forest National Park, P.O. Box 2217, Petrified Forest, AZ 86028; or e-mail the Park Superintendent.

Did You Know?

closeup of colorful agatized petrified wood

Petrified wood at Petrified Forest National Park is almost solid quartz, weighing in at 168 pounds per cubic foot. It's so hard, you can only cut it with a diamond tipped saw! More...