Featuring one of the most unique geological attractions in the country, Crack-In-The-Ground is a must-visit for RV lovers interested in hiking. Located in central Oregon within the Four Craters Lava Bed, Crack-In-The-Ground is a BLM managed volcanic fissure that was originally formed due during an eruption in the lava field between 12,000 to 700,000 years ago. While vehicles are not permitted at Crack-In-The-Ground, there are some great free dry-camping options available nearby.
Adventurers are often attracted to Crack-In-The-Ground due to the nearly two-mile long, 30 foot deep crack with its fantastic trail. This is a very unique experience that will give you the chance to see what happens to the earth after a major volcanic eruption. Once you have finished checking it out there are also plenty of other great activities in the area for you to enjoy, including stargazing, checking out the nearby Fort Rock State Natural Area, and picnicking.
RV camping is not allowed at Crack-In-The-Ground, but there is a fantastic BLM managed campground not too far away that welcomes guests any time of the year. Known as the Green Mountain Campground, here you will find vault toilets and plenty of space to set up your RV. Interested in visiting Crack-In-The-Ground? It truly is a unique place and can be visited all year round.
Driving to and from Crack-In-The-Ground can be a little difficult depending on the unsealed road conditions that will greet you during your trip. You will also have to walk in to Crack-In-The-Ground as no vehicle access is allowed.
Finding this unique attraction is relatively straightforward as it is located around eight miles north of the Christmas Valley community. This is the most popular way to drive to Crack-In-The-Ground, but it can also be accessed from the north where Green Mountain Campground is located.
Since this is a wilderness area, don't expect any supplies to be waiting for you upon your arrival. There are a few places you can visit on the way if you do need to pick up any last-minute items, including Christmas Valley (around eight miles away), Silver Lake (around 33 miles away), and Paisley (around 64 miles away). The closest major city to the park is Bend, which is around 103 miles to the northwest.
While Crack-In-The-Ground is open all year round, during the wintertime access can be difficult if the weather takes a turn. If you are traveling in a larger rig you may also want to contact the BLM to get an update on the unsealed road conditions.
You won't have to worry about parking spaces out here as there are miles and miles of open wilderness next to the road into the area that you can park your rig at.
By far the best place to go camping near Crack-In-The-Ground is the BLM managed Green Mountain Campground. Here you will be able to camp for free in your RV thanks to this being a designated dry camping area.
There are six campsites within Green Mountain Campground, all of which are not equipped with electrical, water, or sewer hookups. You will also have to bring your own water into the campground as there is no running water. Each of the campsites also features picnic tables and fire grates for you to enjoy, and there is a unisex vault toilet for your convenience.
All of the campsites within Green Mountain Campground are available on a first-come, first-served basis only and it is open all year round. Before you begin your journey to the campground we recommend that you call the BLM office to make sure the road access will be suitable for your RV.
Hiking is by far the most popular activity for visitors to Crack-In-The-Ground. The trail within the spectacular crack is suitable for visitors of all ages and will give you the opportunity to experience the impressive natural phenomenon that occurred thousands of years ago.
The trail runs for around two miles and is relatively easy to conquer, but if it has been raining it can become more difficult. There will also be a few rocks to climb over, so we recommend wearing hiking boots.
Located in the small town of Fort Rock, the Fort Rock Homestead Museum is an interesting place that shows off the history of the area and its first homesteaders. Owned and operated by the Fort Rock Valley Historical Society, the museum is a collection of buildings that were built many years ago when settlers started to arrive.
The museum is self-guided, but if you are traveling with a group you can organize a guided tour from one of the volunteers who reside in the area. Be prepared to pay a small fee during your visit, but it is well worth it to see how life used to be many years ago.
Another fantastic natural landmark to check out during your visit to the Crack-In-The-Ground is the Fort Rock State Natural Area. The park contains 370 acres and is mostly known for the massive volcanic tuff ring that is over 200 feet high.
Like the Crack-In-The-Ground, this is a glimpse into life on earth before humans and it is well worth stopping in to see it. There are also caves within the natural area and guided tours can be arranged with park staff.
The wide-open spaces of Crack-In-The-Ground makes for the perfect picnicking facility at any time of the year. While there are no major facilities within the area, there is plenty of room for you to throw out a picnic blanket.
If you wish to experience an area with more picnic facilities you should consider visiting Green Mountain. There are a few picnic tables here and there are also fire grates for those who are interested in cooking up a storm. Please note that there are no water collection hookups, so you will have to bring in your own water for your picnics.
If you are interested in some water-based recreation, consider visiting Baert Lake. Located in Christmas Valley, the lake is suitable for fishing, boating, and swimming.
During the wintertime the lake is also a popular ice skating destination, but if you wish to get out on the lake remember to bring your own skates. If you wish to go fishing you will need a valid fishing permit, and no motorized boats are allowed on the lake.
Another fascinating natural landmark in the area that is managed by the BLM is the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes. Covering around 11,000 acres, the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes feature sand dunes that are not usually found in central Oregan.
Popular with hikers and ATV riders, we recommend checking out this area if you are interested in some more adrenaline-fueled adventures. Christmas Valley Sand Dunes does require a permit if you are going to use an ATV or other off-road vehicles.