Mammoth Mountain - the end
Halfway between Mammoth Mountain and the Mojave Desert of Southern California lays Fossil Falls. Meltwater from the glaciers that formed in the Sierra Nevada hundres of thousands of years ago, pooled into large lakes, which then created rivers, which traveled through and around volcanic activity. The falls were formed when the river was forced to divert its course over a basalt flow, polishing and reshaping the rock into a variety of unique shapes and forms.
"The red cinder cone visible to the north is the result of the violent ejection of trapped gases and molten material into the air from vent in the earth's crust. Cooling quickly when exposed to the air, the molten material formed a porous rock known as scoria, which built up around the original vent forming a cone-shaped hill." - Bureau of Land Management
The amazing thing about Fossil Falls is how much the rocks and landscape varies in such a small area. Fine, smooth, red sand, piles up in the hill to the north, while rough, deep, mahogany colored rocks cover the surrounding area.
It is a deep contrast to the desert mountains looming around it.
The rough stones remind us of the volcanic rock fields that cover the beaches of Maui.
Many people coming to Fossil Falls get a confused or lost and end their journey too short. The trails are shrouded by rocks, and the path weaves around and across boulders. It's easy to find yourself at a dead end or going in circles. If you know what to look for though, you will find the jewel of the unique area, the deep and beautifully sculpted chasm of Fossil Falls.
Here, the rocks are smooth and glossy, shaped like clay on potters wheel.
The stones are covered with light and dark grays with deep blues and cinnamon browns stroked throughout.
They are cool to the touch, and glow where the sun hits.
Bowls, crevices, and tubes, shaped by the river water from hundreds of thousands of years ago, can be found all over.
This brings us to the end of our the journey to Mammoth Mountain and concludes the year 2015. We look foward to 2016 and the many adventures it will bring.