The Painted Desert: Land of Light and Shadow


Visitors to Arizona often wonder where to go to see the Painted Desert. It’s a subtle but large expanse arcing across the northeast quarter of the state, a place that’s as much a function of light and shadow as of any topography or geologic boundaries.

It’s marked by mounds of colorful clays, statuesque hoodoos, and rippling sand dunes. Mostly dry streambeds scratch its surface, but buried in the rock is a world-class store of fossils dating to the Age of the Dinosaurs. The Painted Desert is home to a fascinating variety of living animals and plants, some unique and all supremely adapted to this high grass and shrub desert. It is also home to the Hopi and Navajo people. And its silence is borne on the ever-constant wind.

“In the end,” writes author Rose Houk, “it may not be so important to worry about the specific boundaries of this entity called the Painted Desert. What is important is to spend some time with and in it, learning the history of the people, the other animals, and the plants that give it that elusive sense of place.”

Available in hard cover and beautifully laminated high-quality paperback.



Author: Rose Houk
Photographer: George H. H. Huey
Pages: 56

Additional information

Dimensions12 × 9 in