Petrified Forest National Park - Painted Desert Inn
Only one national park in the country includes and protects a section of historic Route 66: the Petrified Forest National Park with one of the world’s largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood, multi-hued badlands of the Painted Desert, historic structures, archeological sites, and displays of over 200-million-year-old fossils. The national park and this section of Route 66 are not to be missed, and one of the most special places to visit in the park is the Painted Desert Inn.
The Painted Desert Inn was built in 1924 on a high perch overlooking the Painted Desert. Meals were served in the lunchroom, Native American arts and crafts could be purchased in the curio shops, and a cool drink could be enjoyed in the downstairs taproom. Rooms were available for $2 to $4 a night.
During the Dust Bowl days, thousands of heartland residents fled west on Route 66 in search of a better life. Hollywood documented the era in the movie "The Grapes of Wrath," which included scenes at the Painted Desert Inn.
During World War II, the Inn was closed, but reopened after the war was over. Shortly thereafter, the Fred Harvey Company took over the management in 1947. In no time, the legendary Harvey Girls complimented the Inn with their excellent service in the spotless dining room.
Famed architect and interior designer, Mary Colter, oversaw the remodeling of the dining rooms, hiring Fred Kabotie to paint murals in two rooms that would reflect his Hopi heritage.
Following the war, Route 66 became busier than ever as people began to experience "vacations." For many, the Mother Road included a stop at the Petrified Forest, and a bite to eat or curio shopping at the Painted Desert Inn. #historicroute66 #remembertheroad #discover #explore #wander #wanderlust #roadsideattraction #roadtrip #Arizona #arizonahighways #rving #gorving #homeiswhereyouparkit #motherroad #petrifiedforestnationalpark #getyourkicks #americasgreatestidea #painteddesertinn #marycoulter #nps #altnps