Eight of us took off for Jordan Craters, it was a chilly 21º at the start of the ride and overcast with a light wind. As bundled up as everyone was I didn't hear anyone say anything about being cold.
Once at the base of the crater five of us took off to see the crater and get gbraach's geocache. If you haven't ever been here this is a must see. Not only is the crater a spectular view but the lava flows across the desert is a sight to behold also.
A word to the wise, be very careful of standing near the edge of the crater, the first place I stood to take a photo down into the crater was a 10' overhang unbeknowst to me. Dennis hollered at me to get away and once I walked around the other side I got the willies.
All around the edge you can see major cracks and down in the crater you can see where big chunks of lava has broken off the lip and fallen down into the crater. Beware where you walk.
One thinks of rocks as being strong and stable, but this is a very fragile area and caution is needed. There are hollow tubes 2' plus diameter and over 10' long that could collapse by just walking on them.
Spec's on Jordan Craters
|Subregion Name:||Oregon (USA)|
|Volcano Type:||Volcanic field|
|Last Known Eruption:||1250 BC (?)|
|Summit Elevation:||1473 m||4,833 feet|
|Jordan Craters volcanic field consists of well-preserved basaltic lava flows and scoria cones that are the youngest and northernmost of a group of three Quaternary lava fields covering an area of 250 sq km in SE Oregon. The Pleistocene 1473-m-high Clarks Butte shield volcano and Rocky Butte (Lava Butte) lava fields lie to the south, along the trend of regional Basin and Range faulting. Jordan Craters lie on the Owyhee-Oregon plateau at the SE end of a series of widely scattered young volcanic fields extending SE from Bend, Oregon. Coffeepot Crater at the NW end of the lava field was the source about 3200 years ago of one of Oregon's youngest lava flows, which covered 75 sq km with 1.6 cu km of olivine-basaltic pahoehoe. The flows dammed local drainages, forming the two small Upper and Lower Cow Lakes at the SE end of the lava field. Jordan Craters is renowned for its excellent exposures of a wide variety of youthful lava-flow features and has similarities to Holocene basaltic flows of Idaho's Snake River Plain to the east.|
From there we took a ride to the Jasper homestead where you see the interesting cabins built into the side of rocks and an old abandoned scout. Looks like someone mined the mountain for jasper then just left the area abandoned.
Just below this area five of the guys took off down the mountain to the Jasper mine and looped around and back down to Birch Creek Historical cabin. One of the guys has been down this steep rocky road before and elected not to do it again. So three of us took a different route and met up with the others on Birch creek at the old site.
Here is a link to the Birch Creek Historical ranch site. http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/heritage/culbirchcreek.php Some thought about crossing Birch creek but after checking out the water flow and the time of the day with storm clouds approaching it was decided that we would head back to the trucks.
Everyone had a wonderful time and returned to the pickups in good condition.
Jordan Craters is a must see, but only in dry weather.