Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pillars of Rome in Southeast Oregon

The Pillars of Rome are fascinating grayish-brown-looking white bluffs in Malheur County in Oregon. These rock formations cover a roughly 5 miles long and 2 miles wide area near the Owyhee river. There are no marked trails. The pillars can be approached from various sides. Their clay-based structures, however, are brittle, like those of Roman ruins, and rocks may fall down at ant time. Fallen rocks, now covered with yellow-golden lichen, are laying around at the base. Caves and bird nests can be spotted at different altitudes of the pillar walls.

Getting there
Already a landmark for early pioneers of the Oregon Trail, crossing the Owyhee river nearby, today one still needs to rely on visual identification of this imposing structure: There are no obvious signposts guiding potential visitors. No via colonna. Once arrived in Rome
on route 95 between Burns Junction and Jordan Valley, take the well-maintained dirt road across the Rome store. Follow this road in northwest direction for about 2 miles, turn right, and then turn left. At this point you already should see the towering formation. Continue on to the west and park your car in a respectful distance from the pillars.

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