Fort Rock, Oregon

- 03 April 2004 -

When I was in Texas, about a week ago, I was "fjording for the pines" -- they don't have much in the way of pine trees in that neck of the woods.

Then I got back home to western Oregon, surrounded by all those pines... and I started fjording for the Eastern Oregon desert.

So what did I do? As soon as the weather on the passes got good enough, I took off for the lovely and scenic Fort Rock State Park, conveniently located 204 miles from my house in the middle of the desert. Yay! Desert!  

This is my special little map of Fort Rock -- the rock itself, not the li'l village. (I made it with a little bit of help from

In a desultory googling of the mighty little world of the Internet, I couldn't find official names for the various points of interest within Fort Rock. Thus, as an aid to photographic orientation, I peppered the map with names that I invented while I was traipsing around in the Lake County sands. Revel in my whimsy!

"Welcome to Fort Rock State Park"

With this happy little Easter-pastel sign, I was welcomed into the Rock of Fortitude. What would await me next?

Oh, maybe just a little something like this.

This was the eastern outer edge of Pince-Nez Point. 

I was not a passenger on the Mars Rover. Honest.

This was near Pince-Nez Point. 

Pince-Nez Point and the Sedona Wall, from a sagebrush-free area just west of the Slanted Sagebrush Plain. You can see the southern part of the Slanted Sagebrush Plain in this picture.   

The Sedona Wall and the Slanted Sagebrush Plain. Facing north. 

The Stiff Upper Lip Wall, so named because it sorta-kinda looks like a stiffened upper lip protruding from the earth. 

You can see The Pedestal in the left-center part of the picture, and (if you know what you're looking for) you can see Swirly Rock just left of the picture's center.

The northern part of the Eagle's Flight Wall is on the left. The western part of the Stiff Upper Lip Wall is on the right. The Pedestal is visible, too, below the Stiff Upper Lip Wall.

Part of the Sedona Wall. 

A large rock near The Pedestal.

It wasn't too far from here that I saw jackrabbits hopping around amidst the sagebrush. Bunny rabbits! And just in time for Easter, too. 

The bunny rabbits didn't seem to want a hug, though. So huggable, and yet so unapproachable. Sigh. ;b

The aforementioned large rock is on the left; Swirly Point is on the right.

A view of Fort Rock (the town) and the southern part of the Sedona Wall, from somewhere up near The Pedestal. Facing southeast.

A view out into Fort Rock Valley,  from somewhere up near The Pedestal. Facing south.

Some formations up on The Pedestal. I believe the striations were caused by varying lacustrine levels (read: "the stripey-things were made by a shrinking lake"). 

Up on The Pedestal. Facing roughly north. 

I think Swirly Rock is the prettiest object in all of Fort Rock.

Up on The Pedestal. Facing roughly northwest, toward the northern part of Eagle's Flight Wall (roughly the part where I saw the eponymous flying eagle).

The Pedestal is interesting; all over The Pedestal there are circular and oval-shaped pits in the rock. Sometimes that made it a bit tricky to climb up. Nevertheless, it was fun to climb...

I think it was at about this point where I remembered that there was a "park regulations" sign outside the entrance to Fort Rock that I had not read. 

I was a bit worried about whether I'd walk back to the park headquarters to find foot-tapping park wardens, members of the local constabulary standing by with cuffs in hand, and a sign that said "no climbing on the rock". :b 

Fortunately, it's perfectly okay for one to clamber around -- so I was well within the sweet confines of legality. Huzzah!

Up on The Pedestal, facing northeast. 

Swirly Rock is on the right. The rock surface on the left (in the foreground) is St. Swirly's Prayer Pew.

It's not very noticeable in this picture, but there's actually a steep cliff face on the other side of St. Swirly's Prayer Pew, and Swirly Rock is actually a bit off in the distance.

Up on The Pedestal. Facing east.

Swirly Rock again.

Up on The Pedestal, facing west. Land's End is the point on the left side.

Some typical scenery from up on The Pedestal. Facing southeast.

A close-up of that little channel in the rock.

Up on The Pedestal, facing southwest toward Land's End and the Fort Rock Valley.

A bit further west on The Pedestal.  

The Sedona Wall (I think?)

A little canyon in the rock near the Eagle's Flight Wall. 

Swirly Rock, from up on the western part of The Pedestal. 

The western terminus of Stiff Upper Lip Wall, from up on The Pedestal.

Yansa and his ever-so-swank Moose Jaw T-shirt in the foreground, Swirly Rock in the middle distance, and Sedona Wall in the far distance.

Immediately behind the middle of The Pedestal, along the Stiff Upper Lip Wall, there are some interesting white and red layers in the rock. 

Fort Rock, Oregon, viewed from the eastern end of the Inside Passage.  

 A northern edge of The Pedestal.

The Eagle's Flight Wall is in the distance. I think the ridge in the foreground is a small north-south extension on the western end of the Stiff Upper Lip Wall.

The Sedona Wall and the Slanted Sagebrush Plain, viewed across Fort Rock (from the trail along the eastern edge of the Eagle's Flight Wall). Facing east. 

Land's End. Facing west-southwest. 

Facing southeast. The Stiff Upper Lip Wall and The Pedestal are on the left; the Sedona Wall is on the right.

Land's End, again.

It's the Stiff Upper Lip Wall and The Pedestal again. 

In this picture, you can see the sandy sagebrush plain that fills most of Fort Rock.

Pince-Nez Point. Facing east.

It looks like a nose to me. It also kind of looks like a decayed Sphinx. It was tough to decide which resemblance should be the namesake of this rock.

Text written on 04 April 2004.
Last updated 20 January 2006.