Christmas Valley, Oregon: Crack in the Ground

That's its official name, by the way: "Crack in the Ground." A bizarre earth scar 70 feet deep and 2 miles long.
Address:
Crack In The Ground Rd, Christmas Valley, OR
Directions:
Drive a mile east of Christmas Valley on Christmas Valley Hwy. Look for the brown sign on the south side of the road pointing north that reads "Crack In The Ground 7.5 miles." Turn north onto Crack In The Ground Rd. It's a dirt washboard road so it's kinda slow going. After a little over seven miles you will see a parking area on the left with an outhouse. Park and follow the trail across the road from the outhouse about 500 yards.
Admission:
Free
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Crack in the Ground - Wet

We visited The Crack in the Ground the 3rd of May, 2009. The weather was sunny -- it had just rained the day before or that morning. We climbed down into the crack and walked pretty far into it. It was somewhat wet inside, some spots were a little muddy, not enough to worry about. We ran into snow further down, so we decided not to go any further. The colors and textures of the rock were interesting -- different shades of green on the rocks.

Across from the crack was another crack which was quite interesting. There were two large boulders pressed against each other and suspended above the ground. We did not hike into this crack because it had several boulders that were more difficult to hike across and seeing the boulders suspended there was a little unnerving. It would probably be best to visit later in the summer when there is no rain or snow on the ground.

I wore running shoes. I would recommend good hiking shoes with a good gripping sole. Gloves were helpful too, so you can grip the rocks and not cut your hands. Bring a pen or pencil so you can write your name, town and when you visit on the log that is at the site.

[Goldie, 05/11/2009]
Crack in the Ground. Crack in the Ground

Cool crack in the earth, stretches through the Oregon desert, where lava flows and rock walls came together and split apart the earth. There is a trail that runs through the "crack." As you descend it gets moist and cold. The natural colors of the moss and shapes of the rock walls around you are stunning.

Don't forget to stop and see the Lost Forest outside Christmas Valley and "Hole in the Ground" on the way to the Fort Rock Exit. There are many other attractions for the outdoor lover in central and eastern Oregon.

[Jared, 06/09/2008]

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