Sanders, Arizona 86512Petrified Forest National Park map
Pintado is the Spanish word for “painted,” which is fitting because, at this scenic viewpoint, you actually get a 360-degree view of the surrounding multi-hued Painted Desert badlands reaching more than 100 miles!
From the Pintado Point lookout, you can see a maar vent, a flat-bottomed, roughly circular volcanic crater of explosive origin. These volcanic landforms have been exposed by erosion of the Bidahochi Formation, a basalt layer that sits on top of the Chinle Formation.
See all hotspots at Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest was set aside as a national monument in 1906 to preserve and protect the petrified wood for its scientific value. It is recognized today for having so much more, including a broad representation of the Late Triassic paleo-ecosystem, significant human history, clear night skies, fragile grasslands ecosystem, and unspoiled scenic vistas.
Scientific studies are ongoing at the park. Paleontologists find new fossils, including new species of plants and animals, each year. Biologists study living plants and animals, including vegetation surveys and reptile, amphibian, and mammal projects. Air quality, weather, and seismic monitoring stations constantly generate new data.