Crack in the Ground

Away From The Road – Day 4 of 5: Crack in the Ground

Crack in the Ground is a volcanic fissure about 2mi/3.2km long. It is essentially a cave without a roof. The trail varies from perhaps six feet/2m in depth to 30 feet/9m. The width of the crack, from wall to wall, varies from about 3 ft/1m to 15 foot/5m across.

The crack formed about 700,00 to 12,000 years ago. The dry climate of the region has prevented it from filling up and going unseen. This is uncommon among volcanic fissures.

This is a great place to go on a hot day. When the air temperature is over 100°f/38°c, the cold air in the crack feels so nice! When we visited in August there were still small amounts of ice in the crack. The 50-60°f/10-15°c air felt so good. There is a nice trail at the bottom of the crack, but you will have to scramble over a few rocks.

Getting there: From Hwy-97, head southeast on Hwy-31. You’ll pass the Fort Rock turnoff, on your way to milepost 57. Turn north onto Old Lake Road. Follow it to Christmas Valley. Turn right on the Christmas Valley highway. In about one minute, turn left onto Crack in the Ground Road. Follow it to the end.

Information about Crack in the Ground is available here and an online newspaper article here.

Bonus trip: Fort Rock and the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes are nearby.

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Location via Google Maps

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