Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ginko Petrified Forest State Park

In the course of our numerous trips to eastern Washington and Spokane, we sometimes stop at this state park on the Columbia River.  It is on the west side of the river right at the place where Highway 90 crosses the Columbia, and near the town of Vantage, Washington.

The park is known for its vast amount of petrified wood, including whole logs, and for the many different kinds of trees that are found in a petrified state, around fifty different species, including the Ginko.  There are hikes near the visitors center and along the Columbia that enable one to see these wonders in situ.

The living Ginkos at the park provide a beautiful touch of autumn color, but they are no longer native to the area.  Those that are found near the visitor center have been reintroduced there.  In fact, away from the visitor center the area is very open and dry with few trees growing.

The Columbia River here has been dammed and the water has covered the area, the cliffs, where many old Indian petroglyphs were found.  Some of these petroglyphs have been rescued and are now in place at the visitor's center, not the way I would like to see them, but the only way.

Just across the river and barely visible from the state park is Wild Horse Monument, a series of full-size metal sculptures of wild horses which appear to be running across the bluff.  These are near a small parking area from which one can climb the bluff and see the sculptures up close.

Some of these photos were taken last week on our way to Spokane, but others were taken on different occasions and at different times of the year and some of them by my wife and son.


  1. Thanks for the tour Ron. Had no idea about this park.

  2. Thanks for looking, Jackie. It's a neat place to spend some time and we stop there quite often, though it has a tendency to be very windy there.

  3. This looks like a neat area; thanks for the info! Will try to stop here next month - perhaps in time for some spring blooms in this dry area.

  4. Clare,
    There are quite a few wildflowers in that area, but if you really want to see them you have to go a little further west and check out Manastash Ridge and Untanum Ridge south of Ellensburg around the beginning of June. Fantastic!


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