About Fort Rock State Park
Fort Rock State Park – 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 makes 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.
The Fort Rock Basin has served as a vital part of the Native American lifestyle. Fort Rock Cave is near Fort Rock State Natural Area and is the site of an archaeological discovery of several 9,000 to 11,000 year-old sagebrush sandals. This property serves as a reminder of the rich cultural heritage that has shaped so much of Oregon’s history.
The story of the Fort Rock Basin is told by the artifacts left behind and by the rich oral tradition of the tribes who claim the area as home. Fort Rock Cave is a National Heritage site and is open only by a state park guided tour.
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. Guided tours of Fort Rock Cave are available contact LaPine State Park at 541-536-2428 for more information.
Fort Rock State Park is a great hiking area, complete with a picnic area, restrooms, and information on the history of the region. While you are visiting, please also check out the nearby ghost town Fort Rock Homestead Village Museum, to see how early settlers lived in this high desert region complete with clothing, buildings from the early 1900s.