Fort Rock, a National Natural Landmark, is located in the high Oregon desert some 70 miles southeast of Bend, Oregon and about 1 mile north of the town of Fort Rock. Part of the northern Great Basin, the Fort Rock Valley is part of an ancient dried lake. Fort Rock itself is an extinct volcano. Fort Rock is an old tuff ring created by volcanic action in what was a shallow sea in prehistoric times.
Looking like a huge fort from forgotten times, its jagged rock walls tower 325 feet above the plain. Take the trail around the interior of the "fort" and you'll soon realize it's even bigger than it looks!
Fort Rock Cave is located about 1/2 mile west of Fort Rock.
In 1938 Luther Cressmann, a University of Oregon archaeologist, discovered prehistoric artifacts in the cave, including sandals woven from bark and dating back more than 9,000 years
Cave tours can be arranged by contacting the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
Fort Rock Cave was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961
Jim Lough gave us permission to publish his story. I think his writing and photographs will be a wonderful addition to our website.