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Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park

Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park

visited 13 March 2021

The grasslands above the Columbia River near Vantage offer expansive views and a peek back in time. This park is named for a ginkgo and sequoia forest – preserved by volcanic activity – that existed some 15 million years ago.

View over the Columbia from the interpretive center.

The interpretive center was closed at the time I visited, but from outside you can enjoy the view and see a few of the petrified logs moved from their original locations.

Close up of one of the petrified logs.

A few miles up the Old Vantage Highway is a set of trails through the original petrified forest. It was during the construction of this highway in the 1920s that the existence of the logs first became known.

Today, the park doesn’t resemble a forest at all but it does offer some expansive views of the high desert grasslands.

The Trailside Museum was closed for COVID safety reasons when I visited, but the trails themselves were open.
I am oh-so-curious about what is in this mysterious garage built into the hills.
Starting up the trail from the museum. A sign said to watch for rattlesnakes, but on this relatively cool winter day, I didn’t see any.
Most of the petrified logs are in cages, which keep them safe from vandals, but make a good photograph nigh impossible.

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