Cool Geology along Crown Zellerbach Trail

Cool Geology CZ Trail Crown Zellerbach Bonnie Falls Pisgah Columbia County Oregon

Layers of basalt from ancient lava flows helped form the hills of Columbia County. The basalt takes unique shape depending on how the lava cooled.

With the Crown Zellerbach Trail being an old logging road, there are a few areas where the road cuts through the adjoining hillsides and exposes the geological past. I (Matt) wanted to walk you through the cool features I enjoy in one such section, starting with the basalt rock cliff that overlooks Bonnie Falls.

Cool Geology CZ Trail Crown Zellerbach Bonnie Falls Pisgah Columbia County Oregon

Rock cuts in these cliffs expose the volcanic history of the region.

Cool Geology CZ Trail Crown Zellerbach Bonnie Falls Pisgah Columbia County Oregon

Here the rock next to the trail shows us what usually lies just beneath our feet.

Cool Geology CZ Trail Crown Zellerbach Bonnie Falls Pisgah Columbia County Oregon

An old quarry reveals many layers.

Cool Geology CZ Trail Crown Zellerbach Bonnie Falls Pisgah Columbia County Oregon
Cool Geology CZ Trail Crown Zellerbach Bonnie Falls Pisgah Columbia County Oregon

Tree roots slither their way amongst cracks formed by heating and cooling, over time breaking them down into smaller and smaller fragments.

Cool Geology CZ Trail Crown Zellerbach Bonnie Falls Pisgah Columbia County Oregon
Cool Geology CZ Trail Crown Zellerbach Bonnie Falls Pisgah Columbia County Oregon

The cliffs are a great example of active erosion taking place. New life makes a home amongst the walls.

Cool Geology CZ Trail Crown Zellerbach Bonnie Falls Pisgah Columbia County Oregon

In such sections fallen rock is commonplace with both old and fresh rockfall at the base of the cliffs. These rocks are a great place to find woodland salamanders. 🙂

You can find these geological features and more on the Crown Zellerbach Trail starting a little west of the Bonnie Falls Trailhead along to the Pisgah Trailhead.

Cool Geology Along the CZ Trail at a glance

Where: Pisgah Trailhead (45.7837, -122.9031) is on Scappoose-Vernonia Highway 1.7 miles west of Hwy 30, on the right just past Wikstrom Road.

Bonnie Falls Trailhead (45.8086, -122.9380) is 2.6 miles further down on Walker Road on the right, just before it intersects Scappoose-Vernonia Highway.

CZ Crown Z Trail Pisgah Bonnie Falls Ruley Trailhead Columbia County Oregon Scappoose

Hiking: 2.6 miles to get from Pisgah Trailhead to Bonnie Falls Trailhead.

Camping: none

Notable Wildlife: woodland salamanders

Property status: Columbia County Parks

Website: Scappoose Public Works: Crown Zellerbach Trail
Friends of CZ Linear Park Trail

Published by mattyd112

Adventurer

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