Article and photos by David Kier
One of the many interesting sites near El Rosario is the small canyon containing petrified wood. The 'Petrified Forest' is located west of Highway 1, off the road to La Bocana Beach, in one of the many small canyons on the side of the El Rosario mesa.
Wood becomes petrified when it is buried and minerals replace the organic material making a copy of the original tree, but as a rock. The region around El Rosario is well known as a source for fossils and dinosaur bones. Millions of years ago this area looked quite different than it does today and the petrified forest is proof of that.
To find the site a local guide may be hired, such as the first time of our visit during the Baja-Rosario Festival of 2005. That event was hosted by Antonio Muñoz of the Baja Cactus Motel and Pemex station in El Rosario. Accommodations in El Rosario include Baja Cactus Motel, Turista Motel, Baja's Best Bed and Breakfast, Las Cabañas Motel (Mama Espinoza's) and the Sinahi Motel and RV Park. El Rosario is about 225 miles or 5-6 hours south of the border on Highway 1 and is known as the gateway to the central Baja desert and often called the point were the 'real Baja adventure' begins!
The exact location is not given to insure the site is not plundered. If you find the petrified forest (or any other fossils in Baja for that matter), remember to not remove them. Take only photos to preserve the past for our future generations of Baja explorers. It is also illegal for non-Mexicans to remove fossils or historic artifacts!