Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, Vantage

2.7
#124 of 142 in Nature in Washington State
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
66 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • July 26, 2017
    It is worth seeing if you combine it with a lunch on a road trip. However, there should be shade available for the lunch/eating, when we were there we had 95 degr F/35 degr C, so we had cut the sights...  more »
  • July 23, 2017
    We were very excited to see a petrified forest in Washington State and not having to drive down to Arizona, however it was a huge disappointment. We followed the signs from I-90 and arrived at a parki...  more »
  • July 19, 2017
    This was an intersting place to visit. Small museum with nice collection. Very hot and no shade. Good for a short stop on I90. The gem shop nearby was closed and looked abandoned and I know it is not ...  more »

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