Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, Vantage

2.9
Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park/Wanapum Recreational Area is a 7470acre Washington state park at Vantage, Washington that includes 27000ft of shoreline on the Wanapum Reservoir on the Columbia River. Petrified wood was discovered in the region in the early 1930s, which led to creation of the park as a national historic preserve.The strata it lies in is identified as the Miocene Epoch of the Neogene period (15.5 MYa). Over 50 species are found petrified at the site, including ginkgo, sweetgum, redwood, Douglas fir, walnut, spruce, elm, maple, horse chestnut, cottonwood, magnolia, madrone, sassafras, yew, and witch hazel.HistoryDuring the Miocene epoch, around 15.5 million years ago, the region was lush and wet, home to many plant species now extinct. A number of these trees were buried in volcanic ash, and the organic matter in the tree trunks was gradually replaced by minerals in the groundwater; the resulting petrified wood was protected for millennia by flows of basalt. Near the end of the last ice age, the catastrophic Missoula Floods (about 15,000 BC) eroded the basalt, exposing some of the petrified wood.
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Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
77 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We stop here a couple times per year. The museum is fascinating, outdoor exhibits well done. Don’t miss the petroglyphs they are so incredible. History of the forest is very informative View is beauti...  more »
  • I hadn’t been since I was a teenager, now taking my kids here. It’s more beautiful and windy than I remembered. The water at the swimming area is just as cold but needed when it’s 90+ degrees. The sce...  more »
  • The Interpretative Visitor Center is interesting and provides good information -- we would give it a "3" on its own. But the actual petrified forest trail is disappointing and we would give it a "1" s...  more »
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