Pillars of Rome Owyhee Canyonland Oregon Hiking
Photos by Charles Knowles

• The Pillars of Rome are massive volcanic formations
• The formations form resembles Roman ruins

Camping OregonPhotographingHiking Oregon

The Pillars of Rome is a striking geological landmark in the Owyhee Canyonlands, located near Highway 95, 4 miles northwest of the tiny community of Rome and 36 miles southwest of Jordan Valley.

These volcanic formations stretch a 5-mile by 2-mile area along the Owyhee River valley and rise up to 100 feet high. The first European settlers, struck by the formations' resemblance to ancient Roman ruins, named them the Pillars of Rome.

Rome is a small outpost with around fifteen residents. Here, you can get some food and basic necessities.

The Pillars of Rome are easily reachable via a well-maintained gravel road a few miles from Rome. This makes it possible to explore the area with a regular passenger car.

Pillars of Rome Geological History

The Pillars of Rome were formed by water and wind erosion approximately 2.5 to 5.3 million years ago during the Pliocene Era.

These tan and white bluffs are made of fossil-bearing clay, lakebed sediments, and significant volcanic ash deposits. Old stream channels often separate the pillars, adding to their unique appearance.

The pillars are topped by a slightly more weather-resistant basalt cap and welded tuff, creating distinct and dramatic profiles.

Pillars of Rome Owyhee Canyonland Oregon Hiking


There are no formal hiking trails around the Pillars of Rome, but the open landscape is perfect for easy, self-guided walks.

You can explore the base of these towering structures but don't climb up the pillars. This is risky and can damage the formations.

Nature Viewing

The Pillars of Rome provide a spectacular setting for nature viewing. The area is a vibrant habitat for a variety of wildlife, offering ample opportunities to observe and appreciate the local fauna.


The unique geological features and the interplay of light make the Pillars of Rome a paradise for photographers. The white and tan hues of the cliffs change with the sunlight and clouds, giving the Pillars a different appearance during various seasons and times of the day or night.

Pillars of Rome Owyhee Canyonland Oregon Hiking

Pillars of Rome: Camping, Lodging, and Vacation Rentals

The free campground, Rome Launch Campground/Owyhee River Put In, is located 4 miles east and operates on a first-come, first-served basis.

The closest lodging options are in Homedale, Idaho, 90 miles northeast, and in Hines, Oregon, 100 miles northwest.

Lodging in Homedale, ID

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay in Homedale, ID

Lodging in Hines

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay in Hines

Pillars of Rome | Facts

Open: Year-round
Managed by: Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

Amenities: None
Activities: Hiking, nature viewing, and photography

Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any vehicle
Day-use fees: None
Elevation: 3,390 feet (1,033 m)

Pillars of Rome is located:

  • 36 miles southwest of Jordan Valley
  • 119 miles northwest of Boise
  • 234 miles southeast of Bend.

Adventures Nearby

Directions to Pillars of Rome

From Jordan Valley,

  • Head west on US-95 South/Main Street and follow it for 32.6 miles
  • Turn right onto Rome Road and follow it for 1.8 miles
  • Turn right onto Old Ion Highway/Old I O North Highway and follow it for 0.3 miles
  • Turn left onto Kiger Road and follow it for 1.6 miles.

Address: Old Ion Hwy, Jordan Valley, OR 97910

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