" There are no creeks, lakes, or mountains. Instead the area is a labyrinth of lava outcrops and sandy openings, crossed by an eerie, dead river that has been dry since the Ice Age.
The fresh-looking lava here erupted from the flanks of the Newberry Volcano 10,000 years ago, puddled up in a prairie, and then buckled into thousands of pressure ridges ó in much the same way that paint can wrinkle when it dries. The low spots filled with volcanic sand after Mount Mazamaís cataclysmic eruption powdered the area 7,700 years ago.
Bring lots of water because there is none here. If you stray from the old roads that serve as trails in this area, itís easy to be disoriented, so pack a compass or global positioning device.
"William Sullivan" for the Eugene Register Guard
Some of Oregon's oldest trees! Another defining feature of the Oregon Badlands Wilderness is its ancient forests of western juniper. While juniper is sometimes considered invasive in other ecosystems in Central Oregon, the trees are native to the volcanic soils of the Badlands, with many junipers estimated to be over 1000 years old. These gnarled and mysterious trees combined with the volcanic landscape make visiting the Badlands an otherworldly experience.
March 25, 2009
The US House of Representatives voted 285-140 today to pass H.R. 146, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, which includes the Badlands and Spring Basin Wilderness Acts!