Fort Rock Travel Guide

  • Fort Rock Pioneer Family Plot
    Fort Rock Pioneer Family Plot
    by atufft
  • Wooden Pioneer Tombstone in Fort Rock
    Wooden Pioneer Tombstone in Fort Rock
    by atufft
  • Pioneer Tombstone in Fort Rock
    Pioneer Tombstone in Fort Rock
    by atufft

Fort Rock Things to Do

  • Climb Fort Rock: Part 5

    During my descent, I shot pictures of the unique desert vegetation that lives in this harsh environment. In rock pockets out of reach, birds nest on the mountain. I also climbed past the overhang on the southwest side of the mountain for a view of the valley below.

  • Climb Fort Rock: Part 4

    After reaching the peak, I was able to shoot several pictures that captured the crown shape of this marvelous geological wonder.

  • Climb Fort Rock: Part 3

    I had to take some care in climbing the vertical reaches of the highest part of Fort Rock. The heavily eroded and colorful lichen encrused rock is sometimes sharp, sometimes slippery, and not trustworthy its stability. Strong gusty winds greet the climber at the peak. At the top is a US geological survey marker showing the height of the tallest...

  • Climb Fort Rock: Part 2

    After reaching the inside overhang, where the water erosion is very appear, providing some shelter for indigenous inhabitants centuries ago, I could view back to the town of Fort Rock. I continued to climb over the ridge itself, to see the valley north of Fort Rock. The circular hay fields reflect the irrigation system that pumps water from a...

  • Climb Fort Rock: Part 1

    The crown shape of the Fort Rock is heavily eroded on the southern side, where the water and wind erosion was greatest. From the southeast corner, where the parking lot is located, there are various foot trails that lead into the center of the crown and up the rock slopes. I hiked in a counter-clockwise direction along the inside edge of the rocky...

  • Pioneer Village Buildings: Area 6

    The Sunset School, built in 1912, was constructed from two homestead buildings placed end to end. By 1929, declining population forced a reorganization and move, and by 1936 the Fort Rock District was consolidated into the Cougar Valley School District. There's a nice view of the Fort Rock from the porch of Sunset School.

  • Pioneer Village Buildings: Area 5

    The Belletable House is perhaps the finest home in the Fort Rock Village, having been built by a relatively wealthy French immigrant family in 1914. Alex Belletable donated the land for the St. Rose of Lima Church. His efforts to plant rye in the high desert failed, and in 1922, the family moved away from the valley.

  • Pioneer Village Buildings: Area 4

    In 1912, Britt and Glenn Webster, and their 6 year old son, Carl, moved to Fort Rock and built this cabin. The Websters were successful livestock ranchers and lived their whole lives in Fort Rock Valley. Carl became a skilled trapper, sending coyote hides to New York. When Carl died in 1985, his will specified that the cabin be donated to the...

  • Pioneer Village Buildings: Area 3

    Worship within Fort Rock was tradionally done in homes, but conflict between the Protestants and Catholics resulted in the construction of St. Rose of Lima Church, the only dedicated church building in the pioneer village. The building was constructed in 1918. Continuing toward the right, one finds the two story Boedigheimer cabin, built in 1912....

  • Pioneer Village Buildings: Area 2

    The Menkenmaier and Penrose families moved from the lush Williamette Valley in 1909. George Menkenmaier built this log cabin in 1910 and married Hazel Penrose in 1914. Dr. Thom delivered their two children, Beatrice and George. Years later, Hazel met University of Oregon anthopologist, Luther Cressman, who discovered the Fort Rock sandals in Cow...

  • Pioneer Village Buildings: Area 1

    The Museum serves as entrance to the enclosed village of salvaged pioneer buildings. From the museum, the guide sheet starts on the east, or left side, and works clockwise. The Stratton House (1912) is the original structure built by Fred Stratton, a carpenter by trade. This building was donated by one of two sons, Frank Stratton, a founding member...

  • Visit the Ghost Town Musem

    The museum at Fort Rock is well worth the visit. Inside is a small but significant collection of extremely rare artifacts produced by native Americans thousands of years ago, and found recently within the caves of eastern Oregon. Some of these artifacts are thousands of years old, and so represent some of the earliest remains of human habitation in...

  • Fort Rock Pioneer Cemetary: Recent...

    The barren existence of the residents of modern Fort Rock shows itself in the simple burial plots in this cemetary.

  • Fort Rock Pioneer Cemetary: Pioneer...

    Near the Fort Rock peak parking lot there is an interesting small barren desert cemetary with an interesting mixture of pioneer and recent tombstones. These are images of grave markers from the earlier period in Fort Rock.

  • Visit Fort Rock Mountain: Background...

    Fort Rock is protected as part of an Oregon state park. Follow the signs in the town of Fort Rock to the parking lot. At the parking lot is a series of diagrams that inform about the volcanic origins and lifespan of the rock strata as it was experienced by the first inhabitants of North America. The parking lot is on the east side of Fort Rock,...


Fort Rock Transportation

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    The Scenic Tours Through Fort Rock

    by atufft Written Aug 7, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    From Hwy 395 North, take the road west through Christmas Valley. More likely though, travelers will be traveling along Hwy 97, north of Crater Lake but south of Bend, OR. Near La Pine, take Hwy 31 southeast to the Fort Rock turn-off, which in turn will eventually lead through Christmas Valley and on to Hwy 395. The is a remote region, but within the Fort Rock and Christmas Valley areas, you'll find several options for scenic routes. Choose carefully. Study the images I took of the maps provided at the junction of Hwy 31 and Fort Rock road. There's a surprisingly lot of geologically interesting things to see here, but distances are great. Driving in eastern Oregon through the desert can seem like an eternity, but it's well worth the effort to do it at least once.

    Fort Rock Turn-off Fort Rock/Christmas Valley Scenic Tour Map Fort Rock/Christmas Valley Scenic Details Fort Rock/Christmas Valley Scenic Details
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Desert
    • Adventure Travel

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