Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fort Rock In Oregon’s Outback

Fort Rock
I have wanted to visit Fort Rock State Natural Area for some time now and we recently had a chance to get out there. This volcanic landmark located just West of Christmas Valley in Oregon's outback is known as a Tuff Ring. This huge mass is even more impressive in person as you catch the first glimpse. It was formed during the last ice age when lava pushed through the Brothers Fault Zone and into what was once an ancient lake covering some 900 square miles and reaching depths to 150 ft.
For me the best image to take of this immense landmark is a frontal shot taken along county road 5-10 with ample sagebrush as a foreground. If you have the time and energy you can access the parking area via Cabin Creek Rd to explore the rock on foot. There are fairly clean bathrooms here as well as some plaques telling the history of the area. Apparently some of the oldest human sandals were found in nearby Fort Rock cave that were made from sagebrush. The trails here will take you all through and around the rock; it really is something to see up close. Be somewhat wary of the fact that there was a cougar encounter here just a few months ago.
There are a couple of more points of interest in the area as well albeit a bit of a drive. You may wish to check out Hole-In-The-Ground, Crack-In-The-Ground as well as the Lost Forest.

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