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Fort Rock Cave Viewpoint

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

View to Fort Rock Cave from the west rim of the Fort Rock volcano (bobcat)


Viewpoints on the west rim of the Fort Rock volcano look about half a mile across a flat sagebrush expanse to a rock outcropping with a small cave, or rather, overhang. Archeological discoveries at this cave place a human presence here as far back as 15,000 years. In 1938, the cave yielded a trove of dozens of sagebrush bark sandals buried under a layer of Mount Mazama ash. The sandals, about 10,000 years old, are the oldest footwear yet discovered on the planet. The same archeologist, Luther Cressman of the University of Oregon, returned to Fort Rock in the 1960s and found stone tools which could be up to 15,000 years old.

Today, you can take a guided tour to Fort Rock Cave, also known as the Rueb Long Cave after the rancher on whose land the artifacts were found. The tours, by reservation only, depart from the Fort Rock Trailhead in the spring and summer.

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Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

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