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Description: The Pillar Site petroglyphs have been scratched, abraded or incised into a friable, sedimentary layer of the Deschutes Formation exposed on a cliff face overlooking the Deschutes River. The site contains 43 pre-contact petroglyphs and 28 historic or modern inscriptions consisting of letters, names, initials, dates, and numbers. The most compelling petroglyphs include nine anthropomorphic faces or masks stylistically similar to face and mask images in the Long Narrows style. These faces and masks, like Long Narrows style images, have stylistic similarities to art and cultural symbols of the Northwest Coast, and are thought to have been carved sometime during a period extending from roughly 1500 years ago to the recent past. The site also contains geometric petroglyphs classified as part of the North Oregon Rectilinear style.
Access: SOMEWHAT DIFFICULT. The field trip will begin on the Steelhead Falls Trail, which starts at the north side of the Steelhead Falls Trailhead. From here the trail descends into the Deschutes River Canyon over terrain that is steep, uneven and badly eroded in some places. Hiking Distance is 2.2 miles round trip with a total elevation loss/gain of 302 feet. Sun protection will be necessary and each person must carry and drink plenty of water before during and after the field trip.