Did you know that you don't have to go out of state to see petrified wood? Considered one of the most diverse fossil forests in North America, Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park is famous for the rare specimens of petrified Ginkgo tree discovered there in 1932.
Curious? Drive to the park overlook and take in the big skies, Columbia River views and outdoor exhibits of petrified wood. Look for evidence of Ice Age floods carved into the walls of the Columbia River Gorge. Then step inside the Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Center. Not only is it air-conditioned, the museum features more than 30 varieties of petrified wood, including a shiny black slice of an ancient gum tree.
Visit the Ginkgo "trailside museum," constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. From here, the Trees of Stone Interpretive Trail winds past more than 20 petrified logs in their original settings. Birders, look for golden eagles, sage thrashers, Say's phoebes and many other species.
You may want to reserve a campsite at nearby Wanapum Recreation Area so you can cap off a hot day with a refreshing swim or boat float in the Wanapum Reservoir. Pitch your tent or connect your RV, make a picnic under a shady tree, and savor this green oasis.
Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park is a 7,124-acre park with camping at Wanapum Recreation Area. The park features 27,000 feet of freshwater shoreline on the Wanapum Reservoir along the Columbia River. Ginkgo Petrified Forest is a registered National Natural Landmark.
Campground (Wanapum Recreation Area)
Restroom (Ginkgo Petrified Forest)
PICNIC & DAY-USE FACILITIES
There are 57 unsheltered picnic tables, available first come, first served. The park is heavily used during Gorge concert season, and fills early on weekends.
3 miles of hiking trails
WATER ACTIVITIES & FEATURES
Personal watercraft use
OTHER ACTIVITIES & FEATURES
Located in Kittitas County on Wanapum Lake, Gingko Petrified Forest and Wanapum Recreational Area has one watercraft launch with two ramps in the park.
The Wanapum Recreation Area has 50 full- hookup sites, two hiker/biker sites and two restrooms. Maximum site length is 60 feet (limited availability). Tent campers are allowed to use the sites but must pay full fee.
The campground is subject to high winds, especially in the evening. Campers should secure tents and light-weight articles.