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Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Trails

Central Washington > Potholes Region
46.9477, -120.0358 Map & Directions
Length
3.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
200 feet
Highest Point
2600 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Easy

08/01/2022: Wildfire - Trail Closed

  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Old growth
  • Good for kids
  • Wildlife

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

One of the largest petrified forests on the planet sits in the center of Washington State. The ancient trees were mineralized into rock during the great lava flows that swept the inland Northwest. In addition to petrified ginkgos (one of the oldest tree species in the world), the "rock forest" includes mineralized Douglas fir, spruce, walnut, and elm. Continue reading

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Hiking Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Trails

Just off I-90, near where it crosses the Columbia River in Central Washington is the perfect place to take an hour-long break and stretch your legs. It’s on the “sunny side”, so you won’t have to worry about rain, but it might get a little blustery. Be sure to have your coat with you!

The Gingko Petrified Forest Interpretive Trails offer a trip through time, back to when lava flowing across Washington encased the trees. Gradually, the minerals in the lava replaced the organic matter of the trees. What remains are fascinating specimens of mineralized gingkos, spruce, elm, walnut, and fir trees – a remarkably diverse representation of Washington’s state gemstone.

A quarter-mile long paved loop trail makes most of the tree specimens accessible for all visitors. Those wishing to explore further can go off the paved path, onto a longer, gravel-and-dirt loop that edges the state park’s property line. Along with the venerable tree specimens, huge sagebrush dot the landscape, some towering over your head as you wend in and out of the petrified trees.

Taking a full tour of the area is about a 3-mile jaunt -- just enough time for many visitors to get a good stretch in.

One thing of note: because of previous visitors removing pieces of the ancient trees as keepsakes, the remaining trees have been protected by the state park. Please don’t attempt to touch these specimens, or remove any you may find in your wanderings. As tempting as it may be to take a little piece of nature home, the Interpretive Trails must have intact examples for future generations to appreciate these natural marvels.

Toilet Information

  • Toilet at trailhead

More information about toilets

Hike Description Written by
Anna Roth, WTA Staff

Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Trails

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.9477, -120.0358 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

08/01/2022: Wildfire - Trail Closed

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

Drive east on Interstate 90 to exit 136 for Huntzinger Road. Take this exit, then turn left and drive 2.5 miles past Vantage to the Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Trails parking lot. Signs guide you along the way. Facilities are available at the trailhead.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Central Washington > Potholes Region

Washington State Parks

Guidebooks & Maps

Best Desert Hikes: Washington (Bauer & Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Yakima

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Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Trails

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