CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK
Cover Design - L. Howard Crawford, Ranger Naturalist
By John E. Doerr, Jr., Park Naturalist
Nature Notes from Crater Lake National Park, prepared by the naturalist staff during the summer months, will from time to time include articles on the natural features of Crater Lake National Park as well as on the features of the Lava Beds National Monument and the Oregon Caves National Monument, both of the monuments being under the administration of the superintendent and staff of Crater Lake National Park.
The Lava Beds National Monument, in northeastern California, includes an area of approximately 45,000 acres. As the name suggests, the monument contains outstanding volcanic formations, some of which are of quite recent origin. There are hundreds of subterranean channels or tubes which were once the passageways for streams of molten lava. Numerous symmetrical cinder cones, locally known as "buttes", rise several hundred feet above the general level of the adjacent country. There are excellent examples of quite recent "aa" and "pahoehoe" lava flows. The Lava Beds National Monument is also interesting from a historical standpoint. The area includes the battlefields of the famous Modoc War of 1872-1873. The area also includes important ethnological and archeological features. Petroglyphs and pictographs on cliffs and in caves are evidence that the region was inhabited by primitive people long before the coming of white man.
The Oregon Caves National Monument is located in the heart of the Siskiyou Mountains in southwestern Oregon. It was established as a national monument in 1909, under the Department of Agriculture. An Executive Order transferred the monument to the jurisdiction of the National Park Service in 1934, the superintendent of Crater Lake National Park being administrative head of the monument.
The caves, named "The Marble Halls of Oregon" by Joaquin Miller, the Poet of the Sierra, are truly marble halls. Underground water penetrating to great depth along fractures in the marble formation has dissolved out an extensive system of chambers. Water, dripping from the ceilings and walls, has decorated the halls and passageways with fantastic stalactites and stalagmites which stimulate ones imagination as well as ones appreciation of the beauties of nature existing in caverns never touched by sunlight.
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