Steens Mountain and Hanging Valley

April 03, 2008

040308 copy

Provided by: Mark Heilbrunn, Preparatory Academy for Writers
Summary author: Mark Heilbrunn 

This scenic view of what was once a glacier covered landscape was taken near the summit of Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon. Steens Mountain is a 30 mile long (48 km) fault block mountain with an elevation of 9,773 ft (2,977 m). Sometimes mistaken for an entire mountain range the summit of this single mountain stands one mile above the desert below. The U-shaped valleys are caused by glacial erosion. Glaciers, which were present here in eons past, gouged out valleys, resulting in steepening, deepening and widening. The notch on the upper right is a hanging valley, formed by a tributary to the main valley glacier. In 2000 the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Act was signed to protect the mountain and surrounding land. Photo taken On August 14, 2006.