Steins Pillar: A lighthouse in the forest that man did not create

You can see this giant pillar from the road, sticking out above the trees like some great stone forest beacon. It looks like a giant pillar, a solitary monolith left isolated in a sea of evergreens.

Stein’s Pillar is one of Oregon’s geological stones. If you reach the rock, you can truly experience its large scale and see the kilometer-long shadow it can cast on the ground.

The 350-foot-tall pillar is actually the remnant of an ancient volcano. In fact, it is a relic of a time when the Ochoco Mountains once spewed streams of lava and filled the air with clouds of ash, dust, and debris. Fortunately, the scenery is much calmer now, and a hike to the pillar leaves a pleasant outdoor experience.

Stein’s Pillar is one of Oregon’s geological stones.
Stein’s Pillar is one of Oregon’s geological stones

The pillar has attracted people for centuries, and it is believed to have been used as a sacred site by Native Americans. The rock was named Steins Pillar after Major Enoch Steen, who visited the area in the mid-19th century. Steen’s name is often misspelled, and the people who named the rock after him used one of the most common variants-so the pillar was named Stein.

Today, climbers try their hand at climbing its smooth, steep sides. Touching the ancient natural skyscraper, they say, feels like ancient magic.

The rock was named Steins Pillar after Major Enoch Steen
The rock was named Steins Pillar after Major Enoch Steen

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