Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
Yes
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Located in the Oregon outback, Fort Rock Cave is best known for the sagebrush bark sandals that were found under a layer of Mount Mazama ash in the 1930s by University of Oregon archaeologist Luther Cressman. It was that discovery of the world’s oldest “shoes,” which were 9,000 to 13,000 years old, that has helped us understand when people were first in this part of the world.

Fort Rock Cave is a historically significant archaeological site in the Great Basin region of Oregon. It was designated a Registered National Historic Landmark in 1963. It is now managed by Oregon State Parks and Recreation and is only accessible by guided tours. The two-hour tour starts at the Fort Rock State Natural Area parking lot. Transportation is provided to the trailhead, and then it’s just a short hike to the cave. The tour is rich with the history of the site and the surrounding area, from the Native Americans who wove the unique Fort Rock style sandals, to the current landowners who produce world renowned hay, the stories are abundant.

Check with the Oregon State Parks and Recreation for upcoming tours. The Fort Rock sandals are on view at the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History. Other sites such as the Oregon Historical Society, the Klamath and Lake County Museums, and the Nevada State Museum also have some in their collections.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Historial site. Great views. Easy hike.

Cons

Restricted access (must have a guide).

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

Guided tours
Geologically significant
Big vistas
Historically significant

Location

Field Guide

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