Where to Find Petrified Wood in Washington

petrified wood washington spots

Washington State is known for its various fossils and geological formations, but the most popular is petrified wood. Petrified wood in Washington is millions of years old, and there are various locations where you can find these specimens.

With its rich geological history and diverse terrain, Washington offers enthusiasts and curious explorers ample opportunities to discover these ancient remnants of the past. The Evergreen State has many forests, rivers, and rough mountains, so if you don’t know where to look, you might not find any specimens.

If you are on an adventure to find petrified wood, we will discuss some of the best spots to look for in Washington State.

How We Picked the Best Spots for Finding Petrified Wood in Washington

When it comes to choosing the best spots for finding Petrified wood in Washington, we had to consider a lot of things such as:

  • Understanding of our team about the area.
  • Recommendations from the local mining groups.
  • Accessibility to the mining area.
  • Safety and potential hazards.
  • Private and public locations.

Also, look at our guide on where to find petrified wood in Colorado and the best spots to find petrified wood in New Mexico

Types of Petrified Wood Found in Washington


Before we look at the most popular areas in Washington where you can find petrified wood, let’s take a look at the types of petrified wood that are most common in the state.

In Washington State, three main types are prevalent:

Opalized Wood

Opalized wood is a rare and stunning variety of petrified wood characterized by the presence of opal, a gemstone known for its iridescent hues.

When organic material such as wood is replaced by silica-rich solutions containing dissolved silica, opalization occurs. The result is a mesmerizing display of vibrant colors within the petrified wood, making it highly sought after.

Agatized Wood

Agatized wood, also referred to as agate wood, is formed when wood is replaced by agate, a type of microcrystalline quartz known for its translucent or banded appearance.

Agate forms within the cellular structure of the wood, showing a remarkable blend of organic and inorganic elements.

Silicified Wood

Silicified wood is perhaps the most common type of petrified wood found in Washington State. This form of petrified wood occurs when wood is gradually replaced by silica minerals such as quartz, resulting in the preservation of the wood’s original structure and texture.

Silicified wood can exhibit a wide range of colors, from earthy browns to vibrant reds and yellows, depending on the presence of impurities and trace elements during the petrification process.

Where to Find Petrified Wood in Washington

Here are some of the top locations if you wish to find petrified wood in Washington.

Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park

Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park

Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park is located near the town of Vantage and is a renowned destination for enthusiasts. The park features interpretive trails that lead visitors through ancient petrified forests dating back millions of years.

Here, you can marvel at large petrified logs scattered across the landscape, some of which display stunning opalization and agatization.

One of the main highlights of the park is the trees of Stonr Interpretive Trail which is around 5 miles long. You can see more than 22 species of petrified logs in the area. Collectors are limited to 25 pounds per day.

There is a Saddle Mountain, 14 miles east of the park, where you can go and search for your own piece of petrified wood.

Yakima River

Yakima River

The banks of the Yakima River offer multiple opportunities for hunting petrified wood, particularly after high water flow. When you visit after a period of high water flow, chances of finding the petrified wood are increased because it exposes the specimen.

Fossils can often be found embedded in the riverbed or scattered along the shoreline. Be sure to obtain any necessary permits and follow local regulations when collecting petrified wood from public lands.



The next place is the coastal town of Anacortes, situated on Fidalgo Island. While petrified wood is not as abundant here as in the above-mentioned locations, you can still uncover various specimens along the beaches and cliffsides.

We recommend exploring the town after storms as it exposes petrified wood. The most popular spot among petrified wood hunters in Anacortes is the inlet on Puget Sound. Apart from petrified wood, you will also see jasper, jade, and agate on the shores.

Columbia River

Columbia River

The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest and has carved a path through diverse geological formations over millions of years.

Along its banks and surrounding areas, petrified wood can be found in various forms, from small fragments to large, fossilized logs. Rockhounding along the Columbia River can yield a wide array of specimens, including silicified wood with intricate patterns.

Horse Heaven Hills

Horse Heaven Hills

The Horse Heaven Hills, located in southeastern Washington, boasts a rugged landscape punctuated by canyons, bluffs, and exposed rock formations.

Fossilized remnants of ancient forests can be found scattered throughout this region, often weathered and eroded by the elements. Wile exploring the hills, keep an eye out for petrified wood specimen embedded in the rocky terrain.

Cairn Hope Peak

Cairn Hope Peak is located in Okanogan County, and is a lesser known spot for petrified wood hunting. The area is characterized by volcanic rock formations and fossilized remnants of ancient forests.

Petrified wood specimens can be found both on the surface and buried within the volcanic ash and sediment layers, waiting to be discovered by intrepid collectors.

Important Tips for a Successful Petrified Wood Hunting in Washington

Before setting out on a petrified wood hunting adventure, here are some tips to enhance your chances of success:

  • Research local regulations and obtain any necessary permits before collecting petrified wood from public lands.
  • Bring along essential gear such as sturdy footwear, gloves, and tools for excavation and extraction.
  • Keep a basic first aid kit handy in case of minor injuries or accidents.
  • Keep safety in mind when exploring remote or rugged terrain, and be prepared for changing weather conditions.
  • Respect the environment and leave no trace of your presence. Avoid damaging sensitive habitats or archaeological sites while hunting for petrified wood.
  • Consider joining a local rockhounding club or attending guided field trips led by experienced collectors for insights and camaraderie.


As you can see there are plenty of places to explore for hunting petrified wood in Washington. Petrified wood in Washington state offers a glimpse into the geological forces that have shaped the landscape over millions of years ago.

Whether you are a seasoned collector or an amateur, there are various spots to explore across the state to find your own specimen of petrified wood. So, pack your bags, and embark on an adventure across the Washington State to find these ancient petrified wood logs.

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