Rockin’ ‘Round Oregon

Erratic Rock State Natural Site is located off Hwy 18 between Sheridan and McMinnville, Oregon.

Several signs on the highway directed us to our turn off of Hwy 18. There is a wide spot on the side of the road for parking and a sign letting you know you have arrived at the park. A 1/4-mile easy paved trail follows a fence line past a vineyard and orchard to the top of a hill. It is a gradual incline, but the last 100 yards are decidedly steeper.

At the end of the path one finds the largest glacial erratic found in the Willamette Valley. It is a type of rock not normally found in Oregon because it came from Canada in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

This 90-ton rock along with some smaller submerged ones were deposited during an Ice Age flood after floating over 500 miles in an iceberg by way of the Columbia River. When the ice melted and the waters abated, the rocks were left stranded 110 feet above the valley floor below.

Some estimate that the rock we see today is a mere remnant of the 160-ton rock that early Oregon settlers discovered. It has been picked at by generations of visitors eager for a souvenir.

Visitors to Erratic Rock State Natural Site can look out across the vast valley and imagine it completely flooded by a huge amount of water during the Ice Age Floods.

Read more about my Washington road trip to explore Ice Age Floods and Glacial Erratics at this link: https://meetyouinthemorning.com/2020/09/26/washington-rocks/

Thanks for reading and Happy Trails!

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