The images above are of the nature preserve Lower Table Rock - one of 2 natural geological formations remaining from an ancient basalt lava flow about 5 to 10 million years ago. There is the lower one and the upper one. The lower plateau is 2,049 feet elevation and the upper plateau is 2,091 feet. They stand about 800 feet above the valley floor west of Central Point and south of Rogue River in Oregon. Also known as Payne Cliff Formation. See 5 this panorama: Image: 2000 pixels Photo Panorama. GPS coordinates:
42.452049, -122.950324 Lower Table Rock 42.468806, -122.945648 Trailhead
42.474862, -122.901431 Upper Table Rock 42.466188, -122.881632 Trailhead
Click for Lower Table Rock Trail on Google Map or Google Earth.
Trails lead to the top of both sections, and there is an old airplane runway on the lower formation in the preserve, now a trail. This is a popular location for people all ages. The upper formation trail is about 1.25 miles long, and the lower formation trail is about 1.75 miles long. Each one's flat top tilts about 1 degree, indicating slight geological heave between between them in the past. There are wildflowers in the spring. These are home to birds, lizards and trees like oak, madrone and douglas fir. Almost 140 different plants are listed for this 1,890 acre preserve, with up to 75 wildflowers. Poison oak is common.
The 5 petal white flower is Dwarf Wooly Meadow Foam. This plant is on Oregon's list of threatened plants - only found on the Upper and Lower Table Rock - nowhere else. Rattlesnakes are inhabitants here, not confined to the cliffs. During one hike at the lower trail, I encountered a large rattlesnake about 5 minutes from the trailhead parking area. It was about 6 to 8 feet from the trail.
During the 1850s Rogue Indian wars, this was the site of a battle led by Major Philip Kearny, who later became a great Civil War General. He routed Native Americans from this rocky stronghold. A treaty was signed afterward by the Rogue / Takelma tribe and US government. For a while, this was part of the Table Rock Indian Reservation.
Click for Upper Table Rock Trail on Google Map or Google Earth.
The views are grand. The birds are relaxing to watch and listen to. The most common potential hazard will be the poison oak. Just stay on the trail on the way up if you don't know how to ID that plant.