Shell Rock Road

3.7/5 (4 reviews)
Tygh Valley, Oregon (Wasco County)
Last Updated: 07/03/2022

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Highlight: Shell Rock Road
The oak savanna on the eastern ramparts of the Oregon Cascades at the edge of the Central Oregon desert marks the final transition from the wet, fertile valleys and lush, dense forests of the western third of the state into the arid interior; Shell Rock Road bisects the oak savanna on its way to the desert further to the east. The often parched condition of the land along Shell Rock Road creates the right environment for thick, powdery dust reminiscent of the famed Australian "bulldust" to form along long swaths of the road where billowing clouds of dust are the norm during the long dry summer. During the spring when the ground is moist and the grass is green, the thick dust can turn to thick mud. In the winter, the area can be blanketed with snow making Shell Rock Road difficult to find and potentially impossible to pass. The dynamic and changing landscape along Shell Rock Road is a wonderful place to experience a small slice of Central Oregon.
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