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Kiger Gorge in the Steens Mountain Recreation Lands, Harney County
(Photo by Oregon Department of Transportation)

Kiger Gorge is one of several glacial valleys on Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon. It is here seen from the rim rock at the head of its broad, U-shaped valley. The U shape is typical of a valley carved by a glacier, while river valleys have a V shape.

Glaciers advanced during the Pleistocene (less than 2 million years ago), when the climate was colder and wetter than today. At that time, the present-day Alvord Desert (15 mi to the southeast of Kiger Gorge) was part of lake that was 70 mi long and 12 mi wide.

Access: Loop Road from State Highway 205 to the east between Frenchglen and Roaring Springs Ranch. Geologic guide: Lund and Bentley, “Steens Mountain, Oregon,” Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Ore Bin, v. 38, no. 4 (April 1976), p. 51–66.

Learn more about Steens Mountain

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Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries
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