Petrified Forest National Park Environmental Factors

The clarity of the high, dry air over the Painted Desert region is only occasionally interrupted by weather shifts and environmental factors. Wind plays a large role in shaping the terrain but does not often decrease visibility. With an annual rainfall of only 8-12 inches, moisture seldom interrupts the majestic vistas. Thunderstorms are most commmon during the monsoon seaason from July to September. Winters can bring cold temperatures and snow.

Summers by contrast are often hot and dry, punctuated by occasional thunderstorms While automobile traffic and the passage of trains on the Santa Fe line can be heard from the road, the backcountry is still a refuge of profound silence. This relative isolation has also helped to preserve the night skies and the air quality within the park.

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October's Featured Park
Arches National Park is known for its' remarkable natural red sandstone arches. With over 2,000 catalogued arches that range in size from a three-foot opening, to Landscape Arch which measures 306 feet from base to base, the park offers the largest concentration of natural arches in the world.
October's Animal
Most commonly found in the tundra of Rocky Mountain National Park, the pika is a close relative of the rabbits and hares, with two upper incisors on each side of the jaw, one behind the other. Being rock-gray in color, pikas are seldom seen until their shrill, metallic call reveals their presence.