Fort Rock is located in the high Oregon desert some 70 miles southeast of Bend, OR. Part of the northern Great Basin, the Fort Rock Valley is part of an ancient dried lake. Fort Rock itself is an extinct volcano. Native Americans made this place their home as early as 10,000 years ago. In 1938, archaeologist Luther Cressman found sandals made of bark and sagebrush in a nearby cave . They were carbon dated to over 9,000 years old It is reported that you can find trinkets and arrowheads in this area. (NOTE: It is a crime to remove any material from a State Park.)
The smell of sagebrush is strong in the air. Temperatures are in the extremes. In the summer it can become hotter than 100 degrees, in the winter freezing is expected. The growing season in Fort Rock Valley is very short but with modern irrigation farmers can produce up to three crops of high quality alfalfa.
The hike around the interior is about a 1 mile round trip.
- Hwy 97 south from Bend, OR, 31 miles to La Pine, OR.
- On the south side of La Pine turn left on Hwy 31 towards Reno, NV.
- Travel on Hwy 97 for about 33 miles and turn left on to a well paved county road, the sign is well marked.
- If you haven’t spotted Fort Rock yet, give yourself a mile or two. If you miss it you need to get your prescription checked.
There are no Oregon State Park day use fees for this park