WA State Parks grants special winter hours for Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Center:
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:
  • December 21 to 23 (Friday through Sunday, the weekend before Christmas)
  • December 28 to 31 (Friday through Monday, the weekend between Christmas and New Year’s Eve)
  • January 4 to 6 (Friday through Monday, the weekend after New Year’s Day)
  • January 18 to 20 (Friday through Sunday, Martin Luther King Day weekend)
  • February 15 to 17 (Friday through Sunday, Presidents Day weekend)
“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: parks.state.wa.us/1113/Ginkgo-Petrified-Forest.