Painted Desert, Arizona
Leaving Flagstaff, Arizona and heading north you run into the Painted Desert. The Painted Desert is the name for a broad area of colorful badlands located in Northern Arizona in the United States. The desert stretches from the Grand Canyon National Park into the Petrified Forest National Park and runs roughly astride and just north of the Little Colorado and the Puerrco Rivers. The area within the Petrified Forest National Wilderness is also known as the Painted Desert Wilderness. Much of the Painted Desert region is located within the Navajo Nation. The Navajo and the Hopi people have lived in the region for at least five hundred, and one thousand years, respectively. However, the modern name for the desert comes from the Spaniards who named it "el Desierto Pintado" due to its brightly colored landscape.
The desert comprises stratified layers of mineral and decayed organic matter. Many hardened dunes can be found. These hardened dunes are visually distinct due to the bands of grays, reds, oranges and yellows which are then shaped by natural wind and rain patterns.
Photograph © 2008 White Shadow Photography. All Rights Reserved. This photograph should not be used on websites/blogs or anywhere for that matter without my explicit written permission.