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Hole-in-the-Ground, Fort Rock

#236 of 252 in Nature in Oregon
Geologic Formation · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Hole-in-the-Ground is a large maar (volcanic explosion crater) in the Fort Rock-Christmas Lake Valley Basin of Lake County, central Oregon, northeast of Crater Lake, near Oregon Route 31.
It is about 1.0 mile (1,600 m) across, a little longer N-S than E-W. Its floor is about 150 meters (490 ft) below the surrounding ground level and has a rim that rises 35 to 65 meters (110 to 210 ft) above, the highest point on the east side. The crater formed during the late Pleistocene, between 13,500 and 18,000 years ago, at which time the Fort Rock Basin was a lake and the location was near the shore. Basaltic magma intruding near the surface flashed ground water to steam, which blew out overlying rock and soil, along with some juvenile material. As material slid into the hole formed, it closed the vent and the process repeated, eventually forming the huge hole. Blocks as large as 26 feet (8 m) in size were flung as far as 2.3 miles (3.7 km) from the crater.
To the west of Hole-in-the-Ground is an even bigger maar, 1.1 miles (1,820 m), but older and more eroded, called Big Hole.

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Hole-in-the-Ground reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 3.5
15 reviews
  • I missed the sign on the highway and followed Google Maps onto a web of Jeep trails. This terrified my MIL, who was in the back seat. I started to feel like Clark Griswold in "Vacation", so we high...  more »
  • Had a hard time winding our way through rutted roads but we finally managed to grab a peak. It looks cooler from Google Earth but it is an interesting stopping point if you're driving through on Hwy.....  more »
  • Not a hole it's a bowl. A little underwhelming but it's 👌
  • Cool little place to visit, worth the bumpy ride of you're in the area.

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