A unique geological wonder, Crack-In-The-Ground is located 8 miles north of the town of Christmas Valley. A formation of the volcanic origin, two parallel cliffs stretch roughly for 2 miles and reach up to 70 feet depth at some places. The average width between walls of the cliffs is 10 feet.
Crack-In-The-Ground offers you an adventurous hike through the entire length of the crack. Hikers will explore interesting crevices, caves, cracks, and formations around every bend along the trail.
The exact time when the formation occurred is unknown, but, according to scientific research, it remains open for about 12,000 years. The fissure formed as a result of the Four Craters Lava Field eruption, which in turn caused the sinking of the old rock surface. This event created the amazing monument of tectonic and volcanic activities we can see nowadays.
Often, other fissures are getting filled up by rocks and soil due to sedimentation and erosion. However, since Crack-in-the-Ground tends to be pretty dry, it doesn't happen to this natural wonder.
The hike is open year-round, but the access might require a four-wheel-drive vehicle during the winter season. The trail is only open to foot travel, no motorized vehicles, bicycles, or horses are allowed.
Restrooms are available on-site, but there is no drinking water, so make sure you bring plenty of your own. Please be advised to have warm clothes. Even in summer, the temperature inside the crack might drop to 30 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the temperature on the surface.
Crack-In-The-Ground | General Description
Location: Four Craters Lava Field
Services: Restroom, no drinking water
Activities: Hiking, nature viewing, photography
Accommodations: Green Mountain Campground - 6 designated campsites, a vault toilet, picnic tables, and fire grates
Trail Distance: 2 miles (3.2 km)
Hike difficulty level: Moderate
Elevation gain: 70 ft (21 m)
Distance from the parking: 0.35 miles (0.5 km)
Road access: High-clearance vehicles, the road can be inaccessible during wet and snow weather
Day-use fees: Free
Popularity: Low to moderate
Elevation: 4,500 ft (1,372 m)
Crack-In-The-Ground is located:
- 102 miles southeast of Bend
- 109 miles north of Lakeview
- 179 miles east of Eugene.
- Travel 31 miles south on US-97 to OR-31
- Turn left onto OR-31 (Fort Rock Highway) after La Pine and drive 29 miles to County Road 5
- Turn left and follow 22.5 miles to Christmas Valley Road
- Turn left onto Christmas Valley Road and go 12.1 miles to Millican Road
- Turn left onto Millican Road and continue 7.3 miles to the parking area.