Northern California Nature July 24, 2018
The Underrated Natural Wonder Every Northern Californian Should See At Least Once
Located in Northern California is one of the most unique forests you’ll ever see in your lifetime. Despite its notability as one of the most bizarre natural wonders our state has to offer, a lot of people don’t seem to even know it exists. After a brief closure caused by the devastating fire that swept through Napa Valley last year, the Petrified Forest is once again open to the public and ready to be viewed. The forest is downright incredible, boasting trees that are thought to be
millions of years old. Millions! Take a trip through history and plan a visit to this underrated natural wonder as soon as possible.
Travel 3.4 million years back in time when you visit the stunning Petrified Forest in Calistoga. You've probably seen what an average redwood tree looks like, but seeing them in this petrified form is an incredible sight that every Northern Californian should experience.
The Petrified Forest is a gathering of ancient petrified redwoods and it's open to visitors daily all year long. You'll find it at 4100 Petrified Forest Rd, Calistoga, CA 94515.
What exactly occurred that made these regular ol' redwoods turn to stone? It's believed that a volcanic eruption at Mount St. Helena caused the trees to become petrified. The process took thousands of years to complete, and the result is seriously stunning.
This place is considered to be one of the finest examples
in the world of a preserved ancient forest. When St. Helena erupted, thick layers of volcanic ash knocked the redwoods over and buried them. It also created an oxygen-deprived environment which means that bacteria wasn't able to decompose the organic material. Now the trees resemble something like stone.
There's something strangely beautiful about observing the trees in their petrified state. Believe it or not, the forest remained buried for millions of years before it was discovered by a Swedish homesteader in 1870. When you walk through the forest, you're walking through a landscape that was here long, long before we were!
The forest has been noticed by many important individuals over the years. In 1880, the famed writer Robert Louis Stevenson visited the forest and recorded his experience in his book "The Silverado Squatters". As a result, one of the petrified trees is named after him.
Luther Burbank was considered one of the most influential horticulturalists in the world and he also paid the forest a visit. He actually contributed a lot to understanding the native plants and trees on the property.
Most visitors who find themselves in the Calistoga area are here to explore California's magnificent wine country. However, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't take a few hours to roam this incredible Petrified Forest—the likes of which you've probably never seen before.
The park contains two hiking trails which together comprise about one mile. They offer docent-led tours around the park every day at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, or 3:00 pm. Or you can simply enjoy the forest via a self-guided tour. For more information about the park, you can visit their website
Have you visited the Petrified Forest? This place is simply amazing. It’s hard to believe these trees are actually millions of years old. Be sure to check out these
11 Amazing Natural Wonders In Northern California Hiding In Plain Sight for more must-see destinations. Address: 4100 Petrified Forest Rd, Calistoga, CA 94515