Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park

Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park contains the remains of one of the most unusual fossil forests in the world.

Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park

Until recently, I’ve never taken the time to stop at the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park although many of my friends assured me I’d enjoy it. However, with our trip to Ancient Lakes, I was determined to rectify that issue.

Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park contains the remains of one of the most unusual fossil forests in the world. It was set aside as a historic preserve in the 1930s after highway construction crews working on the Vantage Road unearthed what proved to be some of the rarest forms of petrified wood ever found. Located one mile north of Vantage, near the geographic center of Washington State, the park is now a registered national natural landmark.

A Peek at Ancient Petroglyphs in Central Washington
Spiritual beings or shamans on these rocks?

Highway workers began finding petrified wood in the area as early as 1927, but the significance of the site wasn’t recognized until 1931, after a chance observation made by geologist George F. Beck, a professor at what was then Central Washington College of Education in Ellensburg (now Central Washington University). Beck had been driving on the Vantage Road along the Columbia River one day when he noticed a man coming down from the hills carrying a large piece of petrified wood. Beck quickly organized an initial excavation in the area. He and his students eventually identified dozens of species of prehistoric trees at the site, including the first known samples of petrified ginkgo.

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Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park contains the remains of one of the most unusual fossil forests in the world.

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Theresa is looking downstream at Murhat Falls. This waterfall is easy to drive to and an easy hike in the Olympic National Forest. ...

Skate Creek runs alongside Forest Road 52 in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This was just one of the many photographic sites that can be accessed from the road. ...

Murhut Falls and its pool are nestled in the Olympic National Forest, not far from Dosewallips State Park. ...

Winter storm making landfall just south of Cape Flattery. This part of the Pacific Northwest can see some powerful storms. ...

An unnamed creek and a small waterfall that you can find along the Steam Donkey Loop trail, which starts within the Dosewallips State Park of Washington ...

Footsteps and a sunset over the Pacific Ocean. ...

Early morning sunshine filtered through the trees and reflected off the upper portion of Murhut waterfall ...

Theresa sitting under Murhut Falls, enjoying the beauty of the forest. ...

Found this small dam in the hills behind our camp on Hood Canal. At one time, it appears to have been used by a homestead to hold water during the summer months. #washingtonstateparks ...

A photographer takes a photo and becomes the subject himself. ...

“How We Survived a Slight Derailment on Tower Rock” was published on our website. You'll find a gallery of all photographs in the article towards the bottom of the page. I'd love to hear your thoughts or comments. You can find our URL in the bio. ...

Low tide on Crescent Bay and reflections in the pools left behind. ...

Vantage

I’m sure everyone is familiar with the adage, “blink and you’ll miss it.” Well, nothing could be more true when applied to the small community of Vantage which is nestled on the west shore of the Columbia River where Hwy 90 crosses. The 2000 census put the population at around 70 people. But what this place lacks in people is more than makes up in charm and beauty.

Before the first bridge was constructed to cross the Columbia River was built, a small ferry was operated here starting in 1914. Only two cars could be carried at a time, but despite chains, blocks and brakes the ferry lost the vehicles and occupants on more than one occasion. Finally, in 1927 the ferry was pulled from service with the completion of the bridge. I can’t help but imagine that the bridge was in direct response to the lost vehicles.

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