The Science and Say-So behind Devil’s Kitchen at Caesars Head State Park


See what we mean when we say, “claustrophobic space?” | Photo by @debbie.stevens9

If you can’t stand the heat (or claustrophobic spaces) you might want to avoid this “kitchen” at all costs.

We’re talking about Devil’s Kitchen — not so much a literal kitchen with pots and pans, but a narrow, one-person-wide path between two rock walls at Caesars Head State Park.

There are two explanations behind how this chasm and its unique name came to be: science and say-so.

Geologists determined that thousands of years ago, an immense amount of heat and pressure caused part of the mountain to split away, creating the narrow passage. Because it’s granitic gneiss (a metamorphic rock), the mountain broke at a clean, 90-degree angle.

It’s the Scottish and Irish settlers of the area that had a different story. They often would brew alcohol in the passage, and said that the Devil also used it as his own kitchen to make a particularly hot brew. One spilled drip of this hot brew on the mountain caused it to crack.

You can access the Devil’s Kitchen from the Caesars Head Visitor Center, just beyond Caesars Head overlook.


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