Geologic Features

 There are many unique geologic features on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest to explore, study and view. Some of the more notable ones include;


Woodley Rock spirals near treesWoodley Rocks

The columns or pillars at Woodley Rocks are examples of geologic formations known as "hoodoos". They are created by heavy rainfall which erodes the horizontal strata. Cracks and joints in the rock combined with the various hardness of the rock facilitates this erosion, resulting in varied and often eccentric forms.

How to get there: From La Grande, Oregon travel north for 8.5 miles on Interstate-84 West to exit 252 (Highway 244 towards Ukiah); Turn off the Interstate onto Highway 244 and travel east for 12 miles to Forest Road 51; Turn left on Forest Road 51 and go south for about 12.7 miles to Forest Road 5125 also known as the Grande Ronde River road; Travel about 4.1 miles on Forest Road 5125 up the valley to the site. The rock formations are located on your left, north of the road.

Location:  Woodley Rocks is located about 20 miles southwest of LaGrande, Oregon in the upper Grande Ronde Valley. GPS location is 45.077927 North, -118.325047 West; Elevation 4460 feet


Mountain view of forest and Sawtooth rockyridgelineSawtooth Crater

The Sawtooth Crater and Ridge were formed by a shield volcano. Shield volcanos are usually built by fluid magma flows, and are named for their large size and low profile, resembling a warrior's shield lying on the ground. The Sawtooth 'shield' is about 3 miles in diameter with a central crater separated by two radial dikes extending from the central plug.  These features consist of olivine basalts and flows of platy andesite.  Visitors to the site can view the radial dikes and central plug.

How to get there: From Baker City travel north on Interstate 84 for approximately 5.5 miles to Exit 298; Turn right off of I-84 at Exit 298 and head east on Highway 203 -Medical Springs Highway; Travel 18 miles on Highway 203 to the small town of Medical Springs; In Medical Springs turn right on the Big Creek gravel road and head southeast for 1.6 miles to the road intersection; At the Big Creek road, and Eagle Creek road (FS road 67) intersection turn right; This road becomes the Forest Service Road 70, also shown as  Collins Lane; Travel on Forest Service Road 70 for about 5.4 miles to the intersection of Forest Service Road 741; park in open areas near this road junction (44.96687 North, -117.54251 West).

To get to the crater and ridge, hike north up the creek drainage on the closed road for approximately 1/2 mile then head west uphill to the ridgeline. Follow the GPS coordinates below to the top of the central plug.

Location: Sawtooth Ridge lies approximately 20 miles northeast of Baker City, Oregon in section 10 and 11, T.7.S., R.42.E. GPS location is 44.97092 North, -117.54665 West; Elevation 5010 feet

More Information:  More information about the Sawtooth Crater can be found in the "The Ore Bin", Vol 31, No 9 published by the Department Of Geology and Mineral Industries, State of Oregon in September 1969. (PDF, 2.3Mb)