Field of Science

Petrified Forest Landmarks - Eagle Nest Rock

For the first 35 years of its existence as a National Monument, one of the major attractions of the Petrified Forest was Eagle Nest Rock in Jasper Forest. As seen below in an undated National Park Service photo. Eagle Nest Rock was a erosional pillar of sandstone in the Jasper Forest bed of the Sonsela Member (Chinle Formation).

The photo [NPS] below is a closer view, showing how remarkable (and delicate) this feature was. It stood about 15 feet (5 meters) tall.

A gravel road detoured off of the main park road and wound its way through the Jasper Forest (numerous petrified logs) turned to the southwest and at its terminus curved around Eagle Nest Rock.



This was a very popular attraction and visitors (and park rangers) would climb up and have their photo taken next to the pillar. The photo [courtesy of the UCMP]. below was taken of Clyde Polacca (of the Hopi Reservation) in 1923 by Charles L. Camp during his paleontological research of the Petrified Forest area


Sadly Eagle Nest Rock "landmark in the First Forest, fell January 25 and 26 [1941] following a month of considerable rain and some high winds.” - Howard R. Stagner, monthly naturalist report.
The old Jasper Forest road was closed afterwards to protect fossil resources (petrified wood) and now only an overlook exists from which you cannot see the Eagle Nest Rock site. The old road was never removed and you can still follow it today. Below is a reshoot of Camp's photo from 2006.


1 comment:

  1. That photo of Polacca is by far my favorite of all the photos Camp took. It has an old west desperado feel to it...

    ReplyDelete

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