Crater Lake
Photo: National Park Service

President Theodore Roosevelt signed the bill establishing Crater Lake National Park in 1902 as the nation’s sixth national park. It remains a destination for people across the country

 Humans have lived alongside Oregon’s volcanoes for more than 13,000 years. These volcanoes have provided raw materials for American Indian livelihoods, challenged explorers and emigrants, and today provide countless recreational, educational, and scientific opportunities. Oregon honors its volcanic heritage by protecting many of its volcanic wonderlands as parks such as Crater Lake National Park, Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Fort Rock State Park, and Portland’s Mt. Tabor City Park.


In this window, you can learn about how American Indians told legends about Oregon’s volcanoes and utilized volcanic rocks every day. You’ll also see how Crater Lake, a unit of the National Park Service, serves as an icon of Oregon to the rest of the country. During the early 1800s, the formidable Cascade Range challenged early explorers and inspired emigrants along the Oregon trail.


Digging Deeper: For more information, visit these websites:


Crater Lake National Park:


USGS Page on Crater Lake/Mt. Mazama:


Geologic Map of Mt. Mazama and Crater Lake Caldera, Oregon (USGS Scientific Investigations Map 2832)


Fort Rock Cave Sandals:


Northern Great Basin Prehistory Project:


Obsidian sources and usage in Oregon:


Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History (Eugene)


USGS-CVO, Living With Volcanoes


USGS-COV: Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark:


Digging Deeper: For more information, give this sample of books a read:


Geology of Oregon, 5th Edition by Elizabeth L. Orr and William N. Orr (2000, Kendall/Hunt

[]) Professors at the University of Oregon, the Orr’s have been writing about Oregon’s geology for decades.


In Search of Ancient Oregon by Ellen Morris Bishop (2003, Timber Press []) Take a photographic journey through time and see Oregon’s ancient places.

Assembling Oregon
Geological Resources
Geology and People
Volcanoes of Oregon