Crater Lake / Photo by Peter Marbach

Sculpted by Water, Fire & Ice: Landscapes of Destruction and Renewal

Dramatic volcanic eruptions, massive Ice Age floods, and powerful glaciers all helped fashion a dramatic landscape of destruction and renewal, reaffirming for any visitor the power of fire and water and geologic time.

“The mountains are young, still forming, as evidenced by the rumblings of St. Helens. Only one river has ever smashed through the spine of Cascades—the mighty Columbia, draining an area nearly the size of France, emptying more water into the Pacific than any in the Western Hemisphere.”

—Tim Egan, author

Examples of Sculpted by Water, Fire and Ice

  1. Newberry National Volcanic Monument

    Newberry National Volcanic Monument was established in 1990 to preserve its unique features, its history in the lives of Native Americans, and the beauty of the area. The Newberry Caldera area is often overlooked and is an incredible example of unspoiled Oregon beauty.  The wildlife…

    Location: Newberry National Volcanic Monument, OR
  2. Salt Creek Falls

    Salt Creek Falls is the second-highest waterfall in Oregon at 286 feet high. The trail to the falls is easy to follow and the photographic opportunities are fantastic. There are unique native plants that are worth the time to study. In spring, native flowers are in…

    Location: 5 Miles West of Willamette Pass Ski Resort on Hwy 58, Crescent Lake, OR 97425
  3. Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve

    Mounds upon mounds, most six-to-eight-feet tall, spread uniformly across hundreds of prairie acres, creating an otherworldly effect whose origins are yet understood. Follow the interpretive trail and ponder the mysterious landscape for yourself.  Birders will find plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing at this preserve. The…

    Location: Waddell Creek Road, Littlerock, WA 98556
  4. Ape Cave — Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

    Over 2,000 years ago, lava poured down the southern flank of Mt. St. Helens.  As the hot lava flowed, the surface cooled, creating a crust, which insulated the lava beneath, allowing it to travel down the Lewis River Valley. The lava in the tube rose…

    Location: Forest Road 8303, 3 miles north Forest Roads 83/90 junction., Cougar, WA 98616
  5. Breitenbush Hot Springs

    The Breitenbush community carefully stewards the land that encompasses the geothermal location.  They utilize the geothermal energy, construct buildings that are fitting and unobtrusive, and maintain a system of trails.  There are many facets to the educational experience at Breitenbush.  Many workshops and classes are…

    Location: Breitenbush, OR
National Geographic