Like a desert mirage, this National Natural Landmark rises huge out of the barren, immense flatness of Oregon's high desert. An enormous near-circle of towering jagged rock walls make it seem like a fort. Hike around and you'll soon realize it's even bigger than it looks! It's an old tuff ring set in what was a shallow sea in prehistoric times. As you walk around inside, imagine the early American Indians who canoed to and from what was then an island. Sandals found in a nearby cave are the oldest ever discovered, dating back around 9,000-13,000 years

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing! I've been wanting to visit Fort Rock for a few years now and finally made the trip. It was completely worth it and even better than I expected. We hiked around the exterior first. The trail is well established in some places and non-existent in other places. However it was easy enough to hike through the sagebrush when the trail disappeared and keep on track. Hiking around the outside of the formation was great. We could really see the rock up close and there was evidence that cows and other animals had taken shelter at the base of the rock. Since we were there in the winter, the wind was cold and fierce at times, coming in blasts across the open desert. But it made for amazing sound effects against the rock face. I've always loved the sound of the wind in the trees, but never heard it hum and moan against rock like it did on the north side of Fort Rock. So cool! As you complete the exterior trail, it leads right into the interior trail. We hiked to several of the view points to amazing views of the desert below. The wind was a bit less intense in the inside of the formation, but still gusty. The trail on the interior is by far better established and easier to hike. However, I enjoyed the rawness of the exterior trail better. All in all though, this is a beautiful and significant place to visit. I wish there had been a bit more information provided at the trail head regarding the rich history and amazing geology of this place. It's worth researching once you're back home and adds a lot of meaning to the experience.

Easy and beautiful trail, bring plenty of water.

hiking
Monday, May 05, 2014

I took the loop trail around the interior of the rock plus a side trip up to the small lookout that has a great view of the cave where, in 1938, human relics were discovered that were dated over 9000 years ago. The rock formations are spectacular and the trail easy to navigate. There were very few people out here today and we practically had the place to ourselves. Bad weather probably had something to do with that but it didn't slow us down.

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Saturday, November 07, 2015

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Saturday, May 03, 2014