About 15 million years ago volcanic eruptions deposited ash more than 1000 feet deep in this area of eastern Oregon. 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 starkness of the landscape and the many shapes of the formations make it wonderful for photography. Photo © copyright by Stephen Penland.