Hiking Project Logo

gem icon Agate Bridge [Suggest Edits]

6 votes
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Description

Agate Bridge is likely the most famous of the individual petrified tree specimens found at Petrified Forest National Park. Spanning 110 feet, this great log was once a towering tree. As the tree died, it was carried downstream to a floodplain, where it was quickly buried in sediment. By limiting the amount of oxygen that the log was exposed to, the tree began the petrification process. As silica began to replace the tree, it eventually became the log that is visible today.

A remarkable twist in the tree's history brought it into the position of spanning a void. The tree did not always sit as it is perched now, rather the sediments that this erosion resistant form used to rest on were slowly eroded away through natural forces. Being made up of silica instead of organic material, the tree was able to avoid most of this erosion.

The more modern history of Agate Bridge shows the evolving views of the National Park System. In 1911, visitors and conservationists were afraid that the bridge would collapse, and reinforced the former tree with support. Masonry pillars were the chosen medium, which supported the tree for 6 years until the concrete slab that exists today was installed.

Even with enhanced stability, Agate Bridge is an incredible sight, especially when the complex and lengthy (~200 million years) history of the formation is considered. Visitors will wonder at this spectacular sight, and Agate Bridge is a necessary stop when visiting Petrified Forest National Park.

On the Road: A short distance from the parking area to the overlook is all that is required to see this wonder.

Family Friendly: The fantastic and unbelievable placement of this tree will have the whole family caught in a state of wonder.

Gem Type: Rock Formation

Shared by:
Mikhaila Redovian

0 Comments

You & This Gem

Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Nov 19, 2021
Kristy Van
cemented in 1917. nice contrast to natural erosion noted at other vistas
Aug 2, 2021
Gabriela Perez
May 22, 2021
John Haney
2021
May 3, 2021
Lauren Woods
Mar 26, 2021
Angie C
Feb 21, 2021
Atsuko Ohtake
Feb 11, 2021
Kimberly Sacco
Route 66 trip with Shy!
Feb 6, 2021
Anne Cowles

Nearby Gems

gem Favorite View of rock art

Newspaper Rock

(15) Holbrook, AZ
gem Favorite Jasper Forest- Petrified Forest National Park

Old Faithful

(8) Holbrook, AZ
gem Favorite Remains of native buildings.

Puerco Pueblo

(8) Holbrook, AZ

Nearby Trails

0.8 mi 1.3 km Blue Mesa Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Holbrook, AZ
Easy/Intermediate
Holbrook, AZ
All Clear
Update
Dry
8 days ago
23 
0.0 mi 0.1 km Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument Access Trail
Easy
Holbrook, AZ
Easy
Holbrook, AZ
Unknown
Update
0.9 mi 1.4 km Crystal Forest Trail
Easy
Holbrook, AZ
Easy
Holbrook, AZ
All Clear
Update
Dry, Fallen Trees
8 days ago
13 
0.2 mi 0.4 km Puerco Pueblo
Easy
Holbrook, AZ
Easy
Holbrook, AZ
All Clear
Update
Dry
8 days ago
0.4 mi 0.7 km Giant Logs Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Holbrook, AZ
Easy/Intermediate
Holbrook, AZ
All Clear
Update
Dry, Fallen Trees
8 days ago
13 
0.7 mi 1.1 km Long Logs Trail
Easy
Holbrook, AZ
Easy
Holbrook, AZ
Unknown
Update
0.4 mi 0.7 km Agate House Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Holbrook, AZ
Easy/Intermediate
Holbrook, AZ
Unknown
Update
Shared by Mikhaila Redovian on Jun 23, 2016. All Page Views: 1,063. Last Month: 7.