Saturday, November 8, 2014

Geo 730: November 8, Day 677: Blurry Beacon

Sitting below and a bit to the right of the peak on the central skyline, Beacon Rock, a Washington State Park, rises nearly 850 feet from the edge of the Columbia River. Despite the post title, this is actually a pretty clear view, and if our recent experiences with the smoke and haze hadn't been so frustrating, we might have considered crossing the river and climbing it. There a crazy system of trail segments, staircases and switchbacks that allow non-climbers like me to get right up to the summit. It's a strenuous hike but the views- on a clear day- are well worth the effort. In particular, features from the Missoula Floods, the landslide at Bridge of the Gods, the Dalles Dam and the Oregon side of the Gorge are well displayed.

The best generally accessible information on Beacon Rock's geology I've found is here, (it's considered part of the Boring Lava Field, and is much younger than one might guess- about 57ka) and there's some interesting (non-geo) background on its history at the Wikipedia article.

Photo unmodified. October 10, 2012. FlashEarth Location.

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