Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, Vantage

(2.8/5 based on 55+ reviews on the web)
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
  • Great interpretive center with petrified rock collections and local history. Nice viewing platform looking over the Columbia River. 
  • The visitor's center is the best part. Honestly, unless you've got kids with too much energy (or are tired of sitting in the car yourself), you can skip the trails. There's more petrified wood at the ...  more »
  • Interesting items from ancient past. The vantage area is flush with history and I would reccomend this are to anyone that like to explore.