National Park Week at Petrified Forest National Park April 2011
Contact: Hallie Larsen, 928-524-6228 x274
Petrified Forest—Get out and discover something new about your 394 national parks during National Park Week, April 16th-24th. This year's focus, Healthy Parks, Healthy People, highlights the connection between human and environmental health and the vital role America's national parks play in both. All 394 national parks will have free admission during National Park Week. A listing of parks and promotions is available at www.nps.gov/npweek.
Petrified Forest National Park will celebrate National Park Week with adventures such as:
Yucca Brush Art—Create your own! 10 am, Saturdays April 16 and 23, and Sundays April 17 and 24. Join a ranger for an introduction to American Indian designs and techniques using a yucca leaf brush to create a take home piece of art that can also be sent as a unique postcard. Meet at the Painted Desert Visitor Center anytime between 10 am and 12 noon. Great for kids and families!
Behind the Scenes Tour: Paleontology Preparation Laboratory—11 am, Wednesday April 20, Thursday April 21, and Friday April 22. See where fossils are carefully prepared for research and displays with one of the fossil preparators, a place very few visitors get to experience! Meet at the Painted Desert Visitor Center at 11 am, the group will walk a short distance to the laboratory. Children who are accompanied with an adult are welcome. Park entrance fee is not charged for this tour.
Off the Beaten Path Walk: Keystone Arch—2 pm, Saturdays April 16 and 23, Tuesday, April 19, Wednesday April 20, Thursday April 21. Join a ranger for an off-trail walk to a natural arch formed by a petrified log. This is a short, easy hike over uneven ground. Meet at the first set of overlooks along the Blue Mesa loop road at 2 pm. Bring plenty of water, use sun protection, and wear sturdy shoes. This hike is not accessible. Children are welcome.
Backcountry Petroglyph Hike: Lacey Point—9 am Sunday, April 17. Join a ranger for a hike into the Painted Desert to discover some of the best petroglyphs in the park. Meet at the Painted Desert Visitor Center at 9 am, the group will drive to Lacey Point (entrance fee will apply). Bring plenty of water, use sun protection, and wear sturdy shoes. This hike is not accessible. Children over 12 are welcome. We will start accepting reservations after April 1. Please call 928-524-6228 x274. If leaving a message, include your name, how many will be attending, and a phone number.
Off the Beaten Path: The Dying Grounds Hike—9:30 am Monday, April 18. Join a ranger for an adventure into the Late Triassic—paleontology at Petrified Forest, past and present. Meet at the Painted Desert Visitor Center at 9:30 am before heading into the park. This off-trail hike will start at the Tepees pullout. Great for kids 7 and up. Be sure to bring plenty of water, bring snacks, appropriate shoes, and use sun protection.
Backcountry Petroglyph and Onyx Bridge Hike—9 am Sunday, April 24. Join a ranger for a hike into the Painted Desert to discover some of the best petroglyphs in the park. Meet at the Painted Desert Visitor Center at 9 am, the group will drive to Kachina Point (entrance fee will apply). Bring plenty of water, use sun protection, and wear sturdy shoes. This hike is not accessible. Children over 12 are welcome. We will start accepting reservations after April 1. Please call 928-524-6228 x274. If leaving a message, include your name, how many will be attending, and a phone number.
We will also offer our regular daily programs:
12 pm Painted Desert Inn Tour: Explore this intriguing National Historic Landmark with a ranger and discover its fascinating past.
11 am, 2 pm, and 4 pm Triassic Program: How did these once living trees turn to stone? Meet in the Rainbow Forest Museum sunroom. Find out on this easy ranger talk or guided walk (weather depending) along the Giant Logs Trail.
11 am, 2 pm, and 4 pm Puerco Pueblo Program: Find out about the ancestral Puebloan people who once lived in this 100 room pueblo. Meet at the Puerco Pueblo Trail at the south end of the parking lot for an easy ranger-guided 1/3 mile walk.
Did you know that National Junior Ranger Day is on Saturday, April 23rd? At Petrified Forest National Park, each child participating in Junior Ranger activities will receive a special certificate, patch, and badge. Pick up your booklet at any of the visitor centers.For information call (928) 524-6228, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time; 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?
Standing on the edge of a vast badlands landscape, a Spanish explorer is rumored to have named the area "El Desierto Pintado" (The Painted Desert) because the hills looked like they were painted with the colors of the sunset.