Friday Photo – June 2, 2017

No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere.
~Sheryl Crow


Today’s Friday Photo is an interesting display of springtime in an area that was once an inferno of molten lava. This shot is a glimpse of the Mojave Poppy, blooming in Lavic Lake volcanic field. In spring, wildflowers are synonymous with our mountains and deserts. The Mojave Poppy is just one of a vast number of desert wildflowers that can be seen in the Mojave Desert from February thru June, the peak season being in March.

Lavic Lake is located in the Mojave Desert of Southern California, and this volcanic field was formed by at least four ‘young’ volcanoes (four cinder cones still exist in Lavic Lake). In volcanic terms ‘young’ is less than 100,000 years old. The two popular volcanoes in this area are Pisgah Crater and Amboy Crater, and visiting them is a combination of a road trip, and then a short hike to each cone. The final segment of the road trip portion is a scenic drive where you can literally ‘Get Your Kicks on Route 66’. Historic Route 66 goes right through Lavic Lake and is the gateway to Pisgah Crater and Amboy Crater. I have visited both of these volcanoes, and was surprised that there were two other craters in Lavic Lake. I did some research in trying to find the names of the other two, but I came up empty handed. Do you know the names of the other two craters in Lavic Lake?

Pisgah Crater last erupted about 20,000 years ago, while Amboy crater had a more recent eruption about only 10,000 years ago. Only? Pisgah Crater is known for it’s ‘lava tubes‘ which are basically caves that you can still explore. This crater is wider and loses its conical shape on top. This is primarily due to the fact that it has been mined in the past for decades. Pisgah sits on private land but it is still accessible.

From Route 66, Amboy Crater looks more like your classic volcano. But once you venture out on the 3-mile round trip hike to the top, you’ll discover that the back side of this volcano is pretty much gone. Still, it’s a great little adventure to see the lava lakes inside of the crater. Amboy Crater sits in the Mojave Trails National Monument and is designated as a National Natural Landmark. This trail is rough and rocky, and can get very hot in summer, where 120 degree temperatures are not uncommon. Plenty of water, sunscreen, or other sun protection, and protective footwear are highly recommended.

Taken March 25, 2011, 1:59 pm

 

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