Description - Like a desert mirage, this monolith 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.
Copyright: Oregon State Parks
Fort Rock State Natural Area
- Hike around and you'll soon realize it's even bigger than it looks! It's an old shield volcano set in what was a shallow sea in prehistoric times. A half mile hiking trail is found inside the crater. As you walk around inside, imagine the early American Indians who canoed to and from what was then an island. Human-made artifacts found nearby are the oldest ever discovered in Oregon.
Vital Stats: There is no fee to use this park. For information, call 1-800-551-6949.
Recreation - Activities at Fort Rock include viewing the rock, hiking, picnicking, viewing interpretive displays and viewing wildlife.
Climate - Climate in central and eastern Oregon varies greatly depending on elevation. The high elevations receive much more precipitation and colder temperatures. These regions are much more arid and see greater temperature extremes than western Oregon. Much of the precipitation comes from October to April, mostly in the form of snow in the higher elevations. Winter temperatures can drop well below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Snow remains in the high mountains into early summer. Late spring, summer and early autumn tend to bring clear, sunny days, with warm to hot temperatures at the low elevations and moderate temperatures at the higher elevations. Summer afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon.
Fort Rock State Natural Area is located in Central Oregon off Oregon Highway 31, 2 miles northwest of the town of Fort Rock.