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Originally published Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 9:54 AM

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Washington park features petrified forest

Drivers on I-90 near Vantage often speed through the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park without realizing it's there.

The Associated Press

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VANTAGE, Wash. —

Drivers on I-90 near Vantage often speed through the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park without realizing it's there.

Yakima Herald-Republic reports (http://bit.ly/10oK3kj) the 12-square mile state park contains evidence of two cataclysmic geologic events.

Fifteen million years ago the area was covered by lava flows that buried a forest of ginkgo trees. Some that were protected in mud had vegetation replaced by minerals, while keeping their tree shape.

The petrified trees can be seen from trails in the park. Visitors also can see scattered rocks from another event. Ice age floods 12,000 to 18,000 years ago washed the rocks all the way from what is now Montana.

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Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com

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