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Quartz Mountain (5531'/1686m) summit

View from atop Quartz Mountain (elev. 5,531') near Hemlock Lake in Douglas County, Oregon.  The mountain is located west of the Rogue-Umpqua Divide & yields nice views in all directions, spanning as far south as the Siskiyou Mountains (Wagner Butte/Dutchman Peak/Grayback Mountain area) going southeast towards Mt. McLoughlin, Union Peak, Rabbit Ears, & the Crater Lake rim.  Mount Bailey, Diamond Peak, the Three Sisters, & even the tip of distant Mt. Jefferson are visible up the Cascade Range cresting north.  Apart from that, endless wooded mountains spanning northwest, west, and southwest are also visible w/ a layer of fog covering the lower elevations of the South Umpqua River valley near Tiller.  

On September 14, 1933, a fire lookout was constructed on this summit but was removed in 1972.  On February 24, 1937, the area received attention when pilot Joseph Smith, who was flying a transportation plane from San Francisco to Seattle, accidentally dropped his sun goggles out the window as it fell 6,000 feet into the immense Umpqua forest.  Smith then came to the lookout that was formerly here to drop a note asking for anybody to look for the goggles & miraculously two weeks later they were found by Howard Church of Roseburg & returned to him - this incident has since been featured on Ripley's Believe It Or Not.

Around 1957 the area was surveyed & found to contain an immense silica deposit about 2,500 feet long, 1,200 feet wide & 500 feet in depth from the summit, estimated at over 80 million tons.  The high grade silica is micro-crystalline & is a mixture of massive quartz & chalcedony, resulting in claims being established w/ the area being mined from 1972 to 1997 for varying uses including silicon metal, ferrosilicon, soaps, brickwork, chemical purposes, mineral fillers, ceramics, building, & for use of the nearby Hanna Nickel Mine (now inactive) near Riddle.  The fire lookout is long gone now & the elevation may not be correct as the entire summit area has been reduced slightly as part of decades of silica extraction from the Quartz Mountain Mine, which you can see here from the highest point of the mining area (& new summit).  Geologically, this is a unique area, being perhaps the largest silica producing mine for all of Oregon w/ the quartz here testing a 96-99% purity rating.

Copyright: William L
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 29998x14999
Taken: 23/10/2016
Uploaded: 23/10/2016


Tags: quartz mountain; summit; mine; quarry; silica; silicon; cascade range; mountains; oregon; douglas county; diamond peak; mount bailey; crater lake; rim; mount mcloughlin; union peak; rabbit ears; three sisters; mount jefferson; fog; tiller; fire lookout; tower
More About USA

The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.

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