McKenzie Pass Geology

Friday, August 12, 2011
Leader: Peter Rodda
Hike: 3 miles, 200 ft (Easy)

On an exceptionally fine day, a group of eleven “geologizers” headed for the Old McKenzie Highway. After a brief stop at the McKenzie ranger station, we proceeded to our first scheduled stop at the junction of highways 126 and 242. As in previous years we began this geological trip with a general introduction to the geological history of the area. We then drove up the McKenzie Pass road, stopping several times to view, examine, and discuss the volcanic and glacial geology. Our second stop was for a view of the canyon walls of Lost Creek/White Branch, a discussion of the glacier that had filled the valley, and a look at the large spring that feeds Lost Creek. After a hike to Proxy Falls, walking over lava flows from Collier Cone, we stopped for lunch at Linton Lake Trailhead. We continued driving up Highway 242, with stops to examine and walk on the South Belknap Crater lava flow, at Craig Lake to look at glacial grooves cut into older volcanic rock, to walk across an “island” of older volcanic rock nearly engulfed by lava from Little Belknap Crater, and to examine the contact between intersected lava flows from Little Belknap Crater and Yapoah Crater. Finally, we had a good, clear, 360° view of the Cascade peaks from atop Dee Wright Observatory, and a walk on the newly paved loop trail over the Yapoah lava flow. From McKenzie Pass we returned to Eugene.

Members: Peter Rodda, Susan Sanazaro, Lana Lindstrom, Ken Kodama, Barbara Norregaard, Margaret Prentice. Nonmembers: Lyn Ericson, Deborah Baumgold, Nancy Raymond, Barbara Wheatley, Ashley Hastings.

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