Another in a series of short day trips you can take around the Yakima Valley that won’t totally destroy your gas budget.

Both scientific and scenic, The Gingko Petrified Forest has been attracting visitors to the Mid Columbia region for years. The park was set aside as a historic preserve when remains of a fossil forest were unearthed during highway construction in the 1930s. Petrified wood from many different trees are common in the area, but specimens of petrified Ginkgo are rare. Many buildings on the premises owe their origin to the work of the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps.

A few things to remember.  In the summer it can get downright  HOT in this area. Sunscreen and water are a must for visitors. Also, it can be very windy. When the weather is calm, the Columbia River in this area is a boater's paradise. When it's windy, it can be very treacherous. Be careful!

Follow this link for complete information:

http://www.parks.wa.gov/parks/?selectedpark=Ginkgo+Petrified+Forest%2FWanapum+Recreational+Area

A few miles to the south, Wanapum Dam has a good visitors center that includes regional native history, a fish ladder, and a look at hydro electric power.

Here's a link to that site:

http://www.gcpud.org/