Leslie Gulch, Oregon, volcanic eruptions, ash, erosion, cliffs

Cliffs of Leslie Gulch


Leslie Gulch in eastern Oregon is one of the most geologically interesting areas I've had the privilege to experience.  About 15 million years ago volcanic eruptions deposited ash more than 1000 feet deep in this area.  Wind and water eroded the area into sharp cliffs, deep ravines, honeycombed rock faces, and narrow spires of many colors that we see today.  Erosion is continuing to sculpt the area, but it's on a time scale that is hard for humans to comprehend.  Bighorn sheep, chukar, rattlesnakes and a variety of other critters are found here.  The weather can be as varied as the topography, which makes it a "wild" experience. Photo © copyright by Stephen Penland.

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