18. Fort Rock State Park
Habitat: An Oregon State Park that features an enormous towering rock wall that resembles a fort. Cliff and sagebrush habitats are predominant.
Birds: Nesting species using the cliff habitats are White-Throated Swift; Cliff and Violet-green Swallows; Prairie Falcon; Barn and Great horned owls; and Rock and Canyon Wrens. The surrounding sagebrush habitat supports nesting Brewer's and Sage Sparrows; Sage Thrasher; Say's Phoebe; Western Meadowlark; Western Kingbird; Green-tailed Towhee; and Northern Harrier. Gray Flycatcher and Black-throated Sparrow are sporadically observed in summer months. During winter, raptors such as American Kestrel; Bald and Golden Eagles; Ferruginous; Red-tailed; Rough-legged, and Sharp-shinned Hawks frequent the area.
Directions: From the community of Silver Lake, travel N on Hwy 31 approximately 17 miles and turn right on CR 5-10 for 6.4 miles to the community of Fort Rock. At community of Fort Rock turn left onto CR 5- 11 for 1 mile to reach the State Park day use parking area. If you are approaching the site from LaPine, travel S on Hwy 97 for 2 miles and turn left onto Hwy 31. The turn-off for CR 5-10 is 29 miles further south. Access roads are paved and accessible to all vehicles year-round.
Nearby Attraction: The Fort Rock Pioneer Museum in the community of Fort Rock has a collection of homestead era buildings and interpretation of the families who lived in them. Also, a guided tour (reservations through Oregon State Parks) provides interpretation of the nearby Fort Rock Cave, where numerous cultural artifacts, including 9,000-year-old sagebrush sandals, were discovered.