Words on a warning sign posted on an information board at one of these trailheads impressed me. Its message was that a piece of petrified wood collected outside the National Park could be purchased for $2.00. A piece collected illegally inside the park costs $350 in conjunction with criminal charges of theft from the U.S. Government.
Not until 1962, did the area receive National Park stature. Evidence of human habitation, however, goes back 10,000 years. Petroglyphs, in fact are one of the Park’s attractions. I was amazed to see so much petrified wood still there.
Next year, en route to Tucson, I’ll be sure to catch them again, and for sure the trail between Tawa and Kachina points overlooking the Painted Desert.