Painted Desert is the name given to an area of desert in northern Arizona. Covering 146 square miles (380 sq km), it stretches from the Grand Canyon National Park to Petrified Forest National Park, where it is within the Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area. Another section of the Painted Desert, known as the Little Painted Desert County Park, is located north of Winslow.
The terrain of the Painted Desert is composed of soft sedimentary rocks that are easily eroded, siltstone, mudstone and shale. Erosion on the different layers of soil has given Painted Desert its multi-layer appearance, with each layer of a different color or hue.
Visiting the Painted DesertMost of the terrain of the Painted Desert can only be reached either on foot, or unpaved road. The Navajo Nation towns of Cameron and Tuba City are close to the Painted Desert area.
The Painted Desert Visitor Center and Rainbow Forest Museum has the following opening hours:
23 Oct - 27 Feb: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
28 Feb - 8 May: 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
9 May - 6 Sept: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm
7 Sept - 23 Oct: 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
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