Sunday, January 8, 2012

Red Mountain Hike

Red Mountain Amphitheater
Red Mountain geologic area is located about 25 miles north of Flagstaff in the Coconino National Forest.  It is a cinder cone volcano and part of the San Francisco volcanic field.  Red Mountain is unique because its internal structure is visible.  Off of highway 180 visitors are invited to hike a gentle uphill trail to the volcano.  Upon reaching it, hikers are surrounded by hoodoos of the partially eroded cone.  Another very interesting feature is the pyroxene crystals that are eroding out of the structure.  These become more numerous as you get closer to the amphitheater.  My children were so enamored with these minerals that we could hardly get them off the trail during a thunderstorm!

Red Mountain is well worth the hike.  Do take water with you as you may want to spend some time investigating the volcano.  Also, be cautious of snakes on the trail as I have sighted at least two rattlesnakes on this hike.
Dark Cinders at Red Mountain


5th Grade said...

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