For people who enjoy deserts and sage – Oregon’s Christmas Valley has some really cool adventures.
- Fort Rock – Fort Rock is on the western side of Christmas Valley and is a naturally occurring tuff ring, a kind of volcanic crater that forms when hot magma meets cold groundwater. It’s also the site of a cave where archaeologists unearthed several pairs of sagebrush sandals confirmed to be about 10,000 years old – providing some of the earliest evidence for human occupation in North America.
- Crack-In-The-Ground – An ancient volcanic fissure, Crack-in-the-Ground offers one of the most fascinating slot-canyon like hikes in Oregon. A dirt trail leaves the sagebrush behind and descends into the fissure, which measures two miles long, 15 feet wide and up to 70 feet deep.
- Hole-In-The-Ground – Another volcanic landmark with a literal name, Hole-in-the-Ground is a big explosion crater (known as a maar) in the middle of nowhere, measuring nearly a mile across
- Christmas Valley Sand Dunes – When thinking of sand dunes, Oregonians tend to think of the Oregon coast. Way out in the desert of central Oregon is another set of dunes, covering 11,000 acres of land and reaching up to 60 feet high
- Fossil Lake – Fossil Lake is dry lakebed on the southeast side of the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes, well known among paleontologists as a site for fossils. The ancient lake that once filled the area is thought to have been 200 feet deep, but over time it slowly dried up, leaving behind the remains of many prehistoric animals that visited its shores.
- Lost Forest – Lost Forest is what remains of an ancient forest of ponderosa pines, which once covered much of the region
- Glass Buttes – Glass Buttes is one of Oregon’s best places to find and (legally) gather shards of obsidian