Glass Buttes (OR Site 57 – GR)

by Jerry on August 17, 2009

Directions: Garret’s directions and map will get you there and get you to the various sites. There are a lot of meandering cross roads in the back country though, so GPS is helpful. We might have given up on the rainbow site if not for having accurate coordinates from the book. As it is, it’s a steep, very rough and washed out track. Our big 4WD Dodge pickup made it, although with some white knuckles near the end.

Google Map

Date: August 2009

Notes: Glass Buttes is amazing. We went to sites A, C and D and came away with plenty of material from each. The Aurora pit was the most challenging, with large blocks of material buried about 6′ down and under a dubious amount of overhang. We opted not to take the risk of digging for those and still came away with a bucket full. At the Rainbow pits the question was where to start. We did a lot of looking before finding a likely place to dig. Here the material was only a foot or so below the surface, and we filled our bucket again.

We camped at a nice spot less than 2 miles in. There are lots of camp sites farther in.

Updates: We have slabbed our first block of Aurora Borealis obsidian and it is marvelous. It shimmers in the sunlight with green and red sheen bands looking just like the Northern Lights.

Endless rivers of obsidian at Glass Buttes

Endless rivers of obsidian at Glass Butte.

Six feet down in the Aurora Borealis pit

Six feet down in the Aurora Borealis pit.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jerry June 6, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Went back to the Aurora Borealis pit yesterday (June 2010). It’s seen a lot of digging since last summer & it may be played out. Our group dug up only one decent chunk & there were no more obvious veins to work.

FishBonz June 9, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Hi Jerry:

Any float at the Aurora pit, or has that been picked over pretty well too?

Jerry June 9, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Chips & flakes only. We tried a few pits working out from last year’s big one, but nobody hit anything. Also tried the old rainbow digs just east of the Aurora pit with similar results.

actionupi July 7, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I was also at the Buttes July 1st. I saw the same thing at the Aurora pit, but had good luck checking other people’s leavings. We picked up some nice midnight lace and purple sheen at an obvious camping spot. Thanks to whoever took the time to leave me some nice specimens!

Previous post: Harney Lake (OR Site 70 – GR)

Next post: Ames Creek (OR R1 Site 19 – GR)