A Legacy of Fire and Water
Geologists believe that 10-12 million years ago, alternating
layers of stream sediments, volcanic debris and basaltic lava
flows from the Cascade Range were deposited into a huge
basin in this area. Named “The Deschutes Formation,” these
exposed layers of material were capped by lava flows from
Cascade volcanoes three million years ago. This cap, known
as “The Rim rock Basalt,” is easily seen throughout the park
high atop the cliffs. Subsequent periods of water erosion and
volcanic activity have formed the dramatic canyons and vertical
cliffs seen today.
Named “The Cove” by the original homesteader, the word
“Palisade” refers to the tall column-like formations in the
basalt rim rocks. Lake Billy Chinook was formed by the
construction of Round Butte Dam in 1964 and named for
a Wasco tribesman who guided explorer John C. Fremont
through the area in 1843.
Ancient area inhabitants carved mysterious symbols into a
massive boulder called the “Crooked River Petroglyhph.” It
lies near the group camp below a formation called Ship Rock.
Click on photo to read about it.
Click on photos for better viewing .