This landscape was built by ancient lava flows and sculpted by powerful Ice Age floods. Clues to this fascinating past are all around you.
Remains of a Fossil Forest
The park contains hundreds of pieces of petrified wood that were preserved within an ancient basalt lava flow known as the Ginkgo flow. These fascinating pieces were unearthed through a combination of Ice Age floods, erosion, and human activity. Many different species were preserved at the site, including ginkgo, maple, Douglas-fir, spruce, walnut, and elm.
Read the human history in the landscape!
The Columbia River has long been a travel and trade route for Native Americans. Early traders and settlers also traveled through the area, eventually building ferries and roads at this natural river crossing. In the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps built many structures in the park, including the interpretive center and the nearby stone house.
A Park of Intriguing Options
Visit the interpretive center, hike nearby petrified forest interpretive trails, or relax along the shores of the Columbia River at the Wanapum Recreational Area.
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Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park trails opened in 1938. To see petrified logs and Ice Age flood features, hike these self-guided interpretive trails located along Vantage Highway two miles west of here.