Where to Find Petrified Wood in California

Petrified Forest Reserve at el-Maʿādī

The geological reservePetrified forest at el-Maʿādī (The Petrified Forest Protected Area of ​​Maʿādī; Arabic: محمية الغابة المتحجرة بالمعادي, Maḥmīyat al-Ghābat al-mutaḥaǧǧirat bi’l-Maʿādī) is located about 20 kilometers east of the Cairen suburb of el-Ma'ādī in the Egyptian governorate of Cairo.

Arrival [edit]

The area is located between the 3rd settlement of New Cairo and the Abū el-Hōl urban area of ​​Nei-Cairo. There is a road from the German University in Cairo (GUC) right through the protected area. You can drive about one and a half kilometers to the south from the GUC and reach the original entrance via the road leading east.

With the construction of New Cairo, the former highway from el-Ma'ādī to 'Ain es-Suchna was relocated to the south and no longer runs directly past the protected area.

Arrival is only possible by car or taxi. Access to the area is easy to find, the entrance is signposted in English and Arabic. There are parking spaces in front of the entrance.

Fees [edit]

No entry price (yet).

Mobility [edit]

The area must be explored on foot.

Sights [edit]

On an area of ​​approx. 7 km2 you can find the fossilized remains an approx. 35 million year old forest, which was certainly located on an arm of the Nile that no longer exists today. The well-preserved fossils are now spread over a sandy, desert-like area. There, where splinters reveal the inside of the tree, you can admire color-appealing collections of minerals. A few trunks are still up to 30 meters long and one meter thick.

The fossils were formed in the Oligocene (about 30 million years ago). It is believed that the trees were overturned by a flood of the Nile or a sandstorm and then covered with sand and Nile sediments. The water of the Nile caused the minerals to dissolve and their storage in the tree trunks, the colors are formed by iron, manganese and quartz deposits.

Petrified wood can be found in various places in the desert in eastern Cairo. Only part of the area is protected as a national park. Wood fossils can also be found in various places in the Western Desert.

Example of petrified wood
Example of petrified wood
Minerals on petrified wood

Kitchen [edit]

Restaurants can be found in Cairo and in el-Maʿādī.

Accommodation [edit]

Accommodation can be found in Cairo and in el-Maʿādī.

Excursions [edit]

A visit to the Petrified Forest can be combined with that of el-Maʿādī, Helwan or the Cairo district of el-Muqaṭṭam. New Cairo is also in the immediate vicinity.

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