Lava Cast Forest Trail, Oregon
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 43° 49.032 W 121° 17.310
10T E 637639 N 4852993
The Lava Cast Forest Trail provides information on the Lava Cast Forest area and the tree molds along the trail.
Waymark Code: WM5NZ2
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 01/27/2009
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Touchstone
Views: 10

Along the Lava Cast Forest Trail are 12 numbered posts that are described in a brochure usually available at the trailhead. Information from the brochure is include below:
#1 - The large ponderosa pine before you is about 300 years old. Under ordinary living conditions, ponderosas can live 300-350 years. Compare size, height, and general appearance to those trees out on the flow. All trees are approximately the same age.
#2 - Hot molten lava flowed through the pine forest, surrounding or covering most existing life in its path. Present plants, rooted in wind-deposited ash, demonstrate nature’s ability to revegetate the lava flow area.
#3 - Wild currant, rock penstemon, and Indian paintbrush are common residents of this arid climate. Visit Lava Cast Forest in early summer when the purple penstemon and red-orange paintbrush combine with the black rock to create a sight to stir the human spirit.
#4 - Liquid pahoehoe lava poured out of a series of vents beyond the tree line. Supply exceeded drainage, and a large lake formed where you now stand. As the eruption subsided, downflow drainage occurred, decreasing the lake depth to 10-15 feet.
#5 - A downed tree has lost its struggle for survival. In death as in life, it is useful as a refuge, food, and “Animal Inn” to animals, birds, and insects. The wood gradually decays and assists in making new soil which will support a future forest.
#6 - Tree molds were formed as lava spilled through the pine forest, flowing against the upstream side of the tree trunks. Lava Cast Forest derives its name from the concentration of these features. A more accurate explanation, however, defines a cast as having filled a mold, while a mold is formed around an object such as a tree.
#7 - Proof that two trees once grew together remains in the half-molds. Generally, the open side faces downhill and indicates lava flow direction. The holes extend 10 to15 feet under the lava into soil which once supported the vanished forest.
#8 - Three trees came from this single stump. The holes join at the base.
#9 - Fissures containing a series of vents extend almost seven miles in a northwesterly direction. This line of weakness in the earth’s crust originates at East Lake in the caldera of Newberry Volcano. At this trail stop, Newberry Volcano occupies the entire skyline. Fissures should not be confused with cooling cracks clearly visible from here.
#10 - When lava surged through the stands of pine, some trees were pushed over by its force. Trees that were snapped off were carried away. Others remained, anchored by their roots. Horizontal molds show this feature.
#11 - From this rock rim, notice an isolated forested island, or “kipuka”, surrounded by an expansive sea of lava. The island contains a cluster of much older cinder cones completely encircled by the younger lava. Your rocky perch is also a remnant of an older lava flow.
#12 - During flood stage, the lava current moved a clump of trees to where you see the jumbled pattern in the mold at this site. Lava, reheated by the burning trees, dribbled into the space between the original mold and charred wood. This pattern is often mistaken for bark impressions.
Fee?: 5.00 (listed in local currency)

Approximate Time to Finish: 1 hour

Brochure or Interpretive Signs: Brochure

Rate the Walk:

Addtional Website URL: Not listed

Wherigo Cartridge: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
A picture at the start of the Trail or Walk is greatly appreciated. Additional photos taken during the course of the walk would also be of great benefit.

If there does not appear to be a defined beginning to the trail or walk, pick a logical place (e.g. close to parking) or where information about the walk or trail can be gathered.
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