Kiger Gorge is a huge glacier-carved canyon cutting through the peak of Steens Mountain, overlooking the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. This remnant of the last ice age creates the famous notch in the fault-block mountain crest that is visible from the refuge and points north and west, and shows in the previous post picturing Malheur Lake. The run-off from this canyon to the north feeds the territory that hosts the herds of wild Mustang horses, for which the region is famous. It also continues on, along with other run-off to form the Malheur Lake, which as noted in the last post, is actually a huge fresh water marsh in the middle of the Oregon High Desert at the northern reach of the Great Basin. These vast and striking land formations were among the favorite haunts of my mentor, Leonard Conkling, who taught me to appreciate and celebrate in photographs this unique place. Interestingly, one of the first of the “coffee table books” featuring regional landscape photography was titled “Steens Mountain”, and featured photographic images made by Leonard’s father, Charles Conkling, who, while I was a grade-school boy, allowed me to accompany him and my uncle Ronald Neilson, on several photographic adventures in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Leonard actually printed most of the photos published in the book, “Steens Mountain”, including a view of Kiger Gorge similar to this one. Click on image to enlarge.