Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, Vantage

2.8
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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  • This is an interesting place; most people have no idea that the dry sage-steppe hills were once covered with large trees that have fossilized. This was probably prior to the formation of the Cascade R...  more »
  • We were driving back home from our trip to the North Cascades and I noticed the sign for this on the side of the road and we decided it would be fun to see some petrified logs. We didn't have much tim...  more »
  • Been passing by for over 10 yrs and decided on this vacation we were stopping.We started with the hike and saw the displays on the way down! One of our best times. There is also a picnic table with sh...  more »

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