Hidden from the 62 Highway on the way to Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, there is a mighty powerful gorge rushing by.
Even before starting out on the 3.5 mile Rogue Gorge Trail, you could hear the sounds of the river in the distance. The gorge was most likely caused by the eruption of Mt. Mazama in 5700 BC that created Crater Lake. With the force of the river cascading through lava, a narrow channel of volcanic tubing was developed and then collapsed to form the gorge. The gorge is at most 10 feet (3.048 meters) to 25 feet (7.62 meters) wide so you can actually see the cube – like lava tube on the other side of the hiking trail.
The hiking trail is disabled accessible although you need to be able to step down some steps to see some of the view points. Sar, my sister was able to walk pretty good and enjoyed see the beauty of the woodsy landscape and rushing waters.
At some points in the gorge, some trees fell over and criss-crossed along the banks of the river causing the water to churn more violently through the obstruction. It was pretty mesmerizing!
The Natural Bridge is a naturally occurring bridge underneath the trail where the water rushes inside an intact lava tube and coming out peacefully and calm.
At the other end of the gorge, there are unearthly looking potholes. The strange crater-like depressions were created when smaller rocks constantly churned against the larger ones by the river current. It reminded me of the tide pools that I had visited as a kid near Cabrillo Beach in California.
A sign from the highway is the only indication that this wonderful marvel of nature exists. Also, if you do head out there, don’t forget to stop by Beckie’s Café (est. 1926) and see if their huckleberry pie is in season. We heard that it’s the best.
One more tip is not to wear any scented lotion because it attracts bugs. As you can see from the video, I learned the hard way!
On our way back from Crater Lake driving down Highway 62, we stopped to see another natural wonder of amazing beauty. This was a 500 foot long chasm called the Rogue Gorge. We saw signs for it driving down, then pulled into the parking lot to check it out.
There is a 3.5 mile Rogue Gorge Trail that leads hikers to a view of the Rogue River, but we were plenty impressed by the short trail we took around the Gorge that was more accessible. You can feel the incredible power of the rushing water and hear it churning through the rocks.
According to one of the signs, enough water flows down the Gorge to fill an Olympic swimming pool every minute! There were many other signs providing helpful information, but what was most spectacular was just watching the water crashing on through.
The trail is filled with beautiful trees, including one fascinating tree that is a stump, yet is still a living tree because its roots are connected with another nearby tree that keeps it from rotting. The air has the scent of a full forest, along with mist from the river.
But what really kept drawing me in was the majestic power of that flowing water! I’m so glad all three of us were able to experience that.