The colorful badlands that give the Painted Desert, near Holbrook in Arizona’s remote Navajo County, its name. They were given that name by an expedition under Francisco Vázquez de Coronado on his 1540 quest to find the Seven Cities of Cibola, which he located in what is now nearby Petrified Forest National Park. Finding the cities were not made of gold, Coronado sent an expedition to find the Colorado River to resupply him. Passing through the wonderland of colors, they named the area El Desierto Pintado — The Painted Desert. Original image from Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress collection. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

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