Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park Is One Of Washington's Underrated Gems
The best part of living in Washington is knowing that there is beauty lying in every square mile of the state… you just have to know where to look for it. While our coastal territory and well-known spots are certainly stunning, Washington also has a lot of underrated territory most tourists aren’t aware of. One such area is Vantage, the Columbia River Gorge town that happens to be home to the beautiful Ginkgo Petrified Forest. The rugged beauty of this area is unparalleled.
Vantage is a blip on the radar of Kittitas County, sitting right on the majestic Columbia River.
Most people simply pass through on their way to or from Eastern Washington. But this area has a lot to offer.
Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, which is also known as Wanapum Recreation Area, is a geologic preserve and public recreation area located on the western shoreline of the Columbia River's Wanapum Reservoir, just outside of Vantage.
The park has been a designated National Natural Landmark since 1965.
The park is best known for its rare specimens of petrified Ginkgo tree, which were discovered there in 1932.
A geologist named George F. Beck started organizing excavations after local highway workers noticed the unique petrified wood. Beck also built a small museum.
Currently, you can visit Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park and check out the outdoor exhibits of petrified wood.
Petrified wood happens to be Washington's state gem, and when you're here, you just might understand why. There are over 30 varieties here.
While you're here, scan the area for evidence of Ice Age floods carved into the walls of the Columbia River Gorge.
Near the end of the last ice age, the Missoula Floods made a lasting impression here.
Vantage requires a lengthy drive for most Washingtonians -- but luckily, you can camp at Wanapum Recreation Area.
There are over 50 full-hookup sites at the campground, which is open from March - October.
Go for a swim, enjoy a boat ride, and learn more about our prehistoric past at Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park.
You'll leave with a whole new appreciation for the Pacific Northwest.
The Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park/Wanapum Recreational Area is fully open, but social distancing measures are encouraged. Come check out Washington’s state gem at this hidden gem of a park.
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Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, 630 Ginkgo Ave, Vantage, WA 98950, USA