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Posted on: December 10, 2018

State Parks announces special winter hours for Ginkgo Petrified Forest interpretive center

Visit this beautiful landscape, and enjoy the park’s rich stories

OLYMPIA – Dec. 10, 2018 – Washington State Parks invites the public to visit the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park Interpretive Center this winter. For the first time, the Interpretive Center will be open for selected dates around holidays.

The Interpretive Center, located at 630 Ginkgo Ave, Vantage, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Dec. 21 to 23 (Friday through Sunday, the weekend before Christmas)
  • Dec. 28 to 31 (Friday through Monday, the weekend between Christmas and New Year’s Eve)
  • Jan. 4 to 6 (Friday through Monday, the weekend after New Year’s Day)
  • Jan. 18 to 20 (Friday through Sunday, Martin Luther King Day weekend)
  • Feb. 15 to 17 (Friday through Sunday, Presidents Day weekend)

Bighorn Sheep , Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park

Big horn sheep frequently visit Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park.

“We’re excited to offer these special winter hours for the first time,” said Parks Interpretive Specialist Laura Busby. “For people driving I-90 during the holidays, the Ginkgo interpretive center makes a great side trip for a break, to stretch your legs, stimulate your mind and discover a different winter holiday experience.”

The Interpretive Center provides visual accounts of the formation of the petrified wood and the surrounding landscape. This site is unique from other petrified forests in several ways, including the diversity of tree species found here, the unusual find of ginkgo logs and the level of detail preserved in the wood.

Several geological forces have helped to unearth the buried logs. The most recent Ice Age floods were one part of that story, sculpting the landscape and exposing basalt layers, especially visible in the Columbia River Gorge. The views of the river and Wanapum Reservoir are spectacular from the back porch of the Interpretive Center.

Admission is free; a valid Discover Pass is required for vehicles to park at the center. Passes can be purchased at the Interpretive Center during open hours. The day use area is open daily throughout the winter.

About Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park Interpretive Center
Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park is a 7,124-acre park easily accessible off I-90 near Vantage. The Interpretive Center and associated day use area are only a mile from the highway. Ginkgo Petrified Forest is a registered National Natural Landmark. Visitors can often see bighorn sheep in park’s intriguing shrub-steppe ecosystem. The park features numerous hiking trails, including an interpretive trail where petrified logs are displayed in the ground where they formed. For more information, visit:

News Media Contacts: 
Laura Busby, Interpretive Specialist, (509) 925-1943
Kevin Lieske, Interpretive Specialist, (509) 856-2290
Meryl Lipman, Communications Specialist, (360) 902-8557


About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

 News release number: 18-078

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