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Petrified Forest, Calistoga

(2.6/5 based on 380 reviews on the web)
The Petrified Forest is a petrified forest located in Sonoma County, California, in the United States. It is the only petrified forest in California from the Pliocene. It also has the largest petrified trees in the world. The forest is privately owned, yet it is open to the public to visit every day of the year.HistoryGeological historyApproximately 3.4 million years ago a volcano eruption at Mount St. Helena caused the trees to become petrified. The process took thousands of years to complete. Diane Erwin, from the University of California, Berkeley, stated in 2012, that the petrified forest shows that redwood trees were once located more inland, unlike their contemporary ancestors that are primarily coastal. The Palynological Society calls the forest "one of the finest examples in the world of an ancient forest."19th centuryThe forest was discovered in 1870 by Othniel Charles Marsh. Marsh determined that the petrified trees were Sequoia langsdorfii from the Sequoia genus. There is also one petrified pine tree in the forest. Robert Louis Stevenson mentioned the forest in his book The Silverado Squatters (1883).TodaySince the early 20th century, the same Calistoga based family has maintained and operated the forest. The forest was bought by Ollie Orre Bockee, from M.C. Meeker, around 1912. The total purchase cost was $14,000. Bockee continued to purchase surrounding land and acquired a total of 845 acres. Bockee opened the property to tourists around 1914 and charged 50 cents per person. Bockee died in 1950. Her sister became the owner of the property. Bockee's direct descendants maintain it today. It was listed on the California Historical Landmarks list on January 31, 1978. In 2012, the family started to send fossilized pollen samples to the University of California, Berkeley for research.
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5 days in Calistoga, San Francisco & Napa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, relaxing, romantic, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Calistoga BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 7 days in Napa Valley & Sonoma County BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Napa Valley & Sonoma County BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in California BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE March, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: April, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in California BY A USER FROM SLOVENIA April, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in Napa Valley BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in California & Chicago BY A USER FROM PUERTO RICO March, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We went there not expecting to much. We were greeted by the owner manager. We toured the gift shop first. There were so many interesting gifts at reasonable prices. The two ladies working there , perh...  more »
  • I have never seen the like of this before. There is a scenic drive with lots of places to stop and get out and look. The crystalised trees are amazing. There are facilities at the visitors centre and ...  more »
  • -Nice to see, not really bother-rest time, distinguishing between large petrified trees (redwoods) and ordinary is not so good-go at times of a tour.
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