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.

Support

Our mission is a labor of love, but it does come with overhead. If you’d like to support our efforts we’d certainly appreciate it. Currently, we’re actively participating in the following field research:

  • COASST Beached Bird Surveys
  • Wild and Scenic River Project

Thank you.

advertisement

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

Steve Weileman

Member of the following

We are the learned society for geography and geographers.
as-seal-gr
Working to provide opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to make a difference as they play in the outdoors.
coasst-logo
Working to translate long-term monitoring into effective marine conservation solutions.
Sea Grant Washington
Provide integrated research, communication, and education to coastal communities that lead to the responsible use of the nation’s oceans.

Latest Instagram

You never know what a simple hike through the woods will yield. Found this small dam in the hills behind our camp on Hood Canal. I'm guessing that at one time it was used by a hometead to hold water during the summer months.⁠ ...

Some of the lush green and waterfalls to be found on the Olympic Peninsula. ...

South shore of Dusty Lake just north of Vantage, Washington. We recently spent a night hoping for a shot of the Milky Way. That didn't happen as hoped, but we had quite the adventure nonetheless. ...

Just published our latest adventure - "A Visit to North Cove" - You can find the link in my bio up top. https://buff.ly/3KFAQB8 ...

Tongue Point on the Strait of Juan de Fuco. This was a negative tide and I’ve never seen so much of the reef exposed. ...

Never seen the tide so low here at Crescent Bay. Getting ready for this weekends #COASST bird survey. ...

⁠ Theresa doing her best to imidate the North head Lighthouse.⁠ ...

Here's an elevated view of the massive geologic formation on the south side of our Dusty Lakes camp. ...

Took us a bit to get into Dusty Lake and a one point we were being chase by a thunderstorm, but the views and scenery made up for the hardships. ...

A rare clear evening out on Washington's coast. The Olympic National Park has miles of coastline to enjoy. ...

Sunset over the Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Center. Watch this site as we'll be heading back next week for an extended stay to explore the Ancient Lakes area. ⁠ #northcentralwashington #ncw #centralwa #columbiagorgeinspiration ...

Squalls approaching Portage Head. Jason and I found ourselves hunkered down in a tent waiting for a bit of clearing in the morning before heading down the coast in our kayaks. ...

The old BNSF railroad maintenance shed. It's been torn down to make room for a golf course, but when it was standing, you could still find parts for the trains in labeled bins.⁠ ...

Sunset over the hills of the Columbia River Gorge near Vantage. We'll be heading back there next week...stay tuned. ...

Sunset over the old gravel dock near Steilacoom. This area abounds with a rich tapestry of history. ...

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.

Please share this:

More to explore

Science

First Attempted Survey at Toleak Beach

As I was crawling through the rain slick log jam, I thought, “This can’t be the rain I’m feeling, it can’t be raining that hard, the surf must be dumping on the logs”! Well, it was both. And that was in direct competition with all the noise. This time the battle was between the wind in the tree tops and the dumping surf. Was I on Toleak Beach or an alien world.?

Read More »

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.