Monday, September 3, 2007

Crater Lake, Part 2: Fumaroles

On the east side of the rim, there's a spur road that heads approx. 7 miles off the main loop road toward the Pinnacles Overlook, which is an area in a valley which (surprise!) contains pinnacles. More specifically, these are fumaroles -- lava vents left over from times when this area vented steam from the volcano. Since that time, most of the looser ground around these vents has eroded away via the stream bed these are in, and what we're left with are the hollow vertical tubes of lava rock through which the steam once vented.

I decided it would be nice to take a short hike down the trail that left the parking area (mostly flat trail along the canyon rim) and see where it led us. Lo and behold, about 15 minutes into the walk, we found ourselves literally walking out of the park on foot and into Winema National Forest. There's even a sign and everything along the trail, which is absurdly large considering the trail is strictly for pedestrians.

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