The Rogue River flows 215 miles across Southwest Oregon, beginning high in the Cascade Mountain Range near Crater Lake to the Pacific Ocean. It’ wild salmon runs, whitewater, and rugged scenery earned it’s designation by the U.S. Congress as one of the nation’s original Wild and Scenic Rivers.
The River’s course has been highly influenced by ancient volcanic activity. It’s headwaters are located on Mount Mazama, the eruption of which created Oregon’s famous Crater Lake. Further downstream the river’s channel is funneled through several lava tubes, formed from volcanic lava. Several thousand years ago Crater Lake’s volcano filled this canyon with a long basalt lava flow. When the lava’s crusted surface stopped moving, the molten rock underneath kept on flowing, leaving long caves.
At one point the entire river is forced through a narrow chute, the product of a now collapsed lava tube. And a short distance further, the entire river dissappears underground as it flows through a still intact but ancient tube, just upstream of the image below.
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