Last summer we took a drive through the beautiful Fort Rock Basin located in Central Oregon's Lake County to investigate its interesting volcanic topography. Home to a massive pluvial lake from as early as 50,000 to 100,000 years ago, this once-highly seismic area is a great place to observe the dramatic effects of some of nature's most primal forces.
The first stop along our route brought us to a large maar known as "Hole-in-the-Ground". After driving through the Cascade mountain range to get to Lake County, it would be easy to dismiss a "small" rise in the landscape of a mere 110 feet (210 on its highest side) and surrounded by towering Ponderosa pines, it might be possible to miss it entirely. However, upon cresting the rise and seeing the nearly mile-diameter crater in front of you, its sides sloping away steeply to the basin roughly 600 feet below, the importance of what you're standing on begins to leave an impression.
A hole in Hole-in-the-Ground