The beauty of Foree Area from the Flood of Fire Trail

The beauty of Foree Area from the Flood of Fire Trail



Location: Sheep Rock Unit, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon
Roundtrip: 0,4 mile
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 50 feet
GPS Coordinates: N 44 39.147   W 119 38.434
Visitor’s Information Open: all year round

No Pass Required


Foree area is a part of the Sheep Rock Unit, but is located at some distance northwards from the rest of the Unit. You need to drive a little bit more than 7 miles north on Highway 19 from the Paleontology Center until you reach the right turn with the sign indicating the Picnic Area. Take this turn and in less than half a mile you will find yourself at the parking lot, and actually at the Picnic Area of the Foree. It’s a great place to have a break from exploration of fossils and multi-colored stones and enjoy your lunch at the pleasant shadow of the trees at one of the picnic tables there. Among other amenities which can be found there are a vault toilet, and water fountain (but it is not operating during the cold season).

There you will also find a trailhead for 2 trails: the Flood of Fire Trail and the Story in Stone Trail, with some stands providing the information about the trails.

The Flood of Fire Trail is a short (only 0,4 miles roundtrip) trail, which runs northwards, mildly climbing towards quite a small ridgeline. Such name was given to the trail to remind the visitors once again about the history of the place. The history which is also visible in the stratified basalt hills, one of the main fascination of the area. More than 60 different lava floods helped to form the current-day landscape and it is hard to believe now that all these layers of basalt and claystone hide the amazing diverse nature and incredible animal world which existed millions years ago.

The trail will lead you to a viewpoint, where you can enjoy the scenery of a beautiful valley on the banks of John Day River, and see various colors of the surrounding rock formations. The signages along the trail will explain you some more geological history of the area.

Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska

Information: Svetlana Baranova

Pictures taken: 9/9/15

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