My World: The Painted Desert

Our first look at the Painted Desert from the Tiponi Point overlook. June 13, 2011.

This is my post for the My World meme.  It is hosted by Klaus, Ivar, Sandy, Wren, and Fishing Guy.  To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.

The Painted Desert was our first major stop on our recent trip west.  The Painted Desert encompasses over 93,500 acres and stretches over 160 miles.  The Painted Desert gets its name from the multitude of colors raining from lavenders to shades of gray with vibrant colors of red, orange and pink.  It is an expanse of badlands hills and buttes in a beautiful landscape of a rainbow of colors.

The view from Tawa Point. June 13, 2011.

The Petrified Forest National Park, which we visited, contains part of the Painted Deserted.  We entered the park through the northern entrance  and saw the Painted Desert first before going on to the Petrified Forest.

We hiked a short trail at Kachina Point to capture these views of the Painted Desert. June 13, 2011.

The colors of the sandstone and mudstone layers of the landscape are the result of varying mineral content in the sediments and the rate at which the sediments were laid down.  When sediments are deposited slowly, oxides of iron and aluminum become concentrated in the soil and create the red, orange, and pink colors seen in the northern part  of the park.  During a rapid sediment buildup — such as a flooding event — oxygen is removed from the soil forming, blue, gray and lavender layers.  These colors are prevalent in the southern portion of the park.

Our final stop in the Painted Desert was at Nizhoni Point. June 13, 2011.

The park is covered by the “Chinle formation”, a very soft layer of earth consisting many of mud, sandstone, and volcanic ash.  The softness allows for fantastic erosion, which contributes to the remarkable beauty of the Painted Desert.

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17 Responses to “My World: The Painted Desert”

  1. Mildred Says:

    The views just seem endless; so very magnificent!

  2. ladyfi Says:

    What wonderful scenery – love the colours. It looks like a moonscape.

  3. diane Says:

    Amazing landscapes.

  4. Karin Says:

    It’s such a fascinating place to visit! Great shots!

  5. Sandra Says:

    i enlarged the photos and it truly does look like a painting. can’t figure why the name badlands came along when it should be beautiful lands

  6. Busy Bee Suz Says:

    The views are really gorgeous…vast…endless and vibrant!

  7. Sylvia Kirkwood Says:

    Marvelous captures of such a beautiful, fascinating place! It does look like a moonscape! I, too, enlarged them and they remind me of a moonscape, too! Superb! Enjoy your day!


  8. dayphoto Says:

    Badlands because its so hard to grow something there and very little water is found. Beauty for the everyone to enjoy, none the less.


  9. Ginny Hartzler Says:

    So the white is chinle? What an effect, it makes it look like a desert with snow!

  10. happyone Says:

    Amazingly beautiful!

  11. Loren Says:

    Oh George! These are gorgeous. Truly, the Lord painted such beauty…..just for us. Can you even imagine what Eternity will hold for us! The colors, the animals, everything…..

    Beautiful shots!

  12. Ruth Hiebert Says:

    THe colors are beautiful. ALl the various formations make this place a photographers dream come true,I would say.

  13. Rajesh Says:

    Awesome shots. They do look like painting.

  14. Rose Says:

    I bet it felt like you were on another planet….what an awesome place to see!

  15. Linda G. Says:

    The scenery is spectacular, as are your photographs!

  16. Neal Says:

    Those shots are gorgeous. Almost looks unreal!

  17. sartenada Says:

    I enjoyed every photo in bigger format. Great photos all of them. I have never seen anything like that.

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