Christmas Pictures…From A Volcano.

Over the holiday break, I took a little trip to a volcano…in California.

2.5 miles away

2.5 miles away from Amboy, California is the remnants of a recent (500 years old) volcano.

Parking lot

Once inside the park, there are a scant few amenities.

Amboy Crater sign

Signpost for the park.

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Starting on the path to the volcano.  Many of the markers are missing, so you have to be careful.

Half way there

Half way there.  The trail is 1.1 miles from the parking lot, so be sure to wear good shoes and bring water.  The park is only open from October through April.  It is in the middle of the Mojave desert, not a very hospitable place.

Rest stop before the top

Last rest stop before the climb.

Starting the climb

Around the south side, there is a cut where the lava broke through the side.  It is also the path to the top.

Steep climb to the cauldera

As you can see, it is a steep climb.  Should have brought a walking stick.

In the cauldera

in the caldera.  You can see the lava dome in the middle.  BTW, this is still classified as an extinct volcano, but you never know.  You can also see some of the paths to the rim.  I decided to take the one on the right.

Steep final climb

The path wasn’t too bad…until the last 100 feet or so, at which point it got very steep.

The Cauldera

Looking down into the caldera from the top.

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The rim looking to the west.

Highest point

The highest point of the volcano and a view to the east.

The rim to the west

The Mojave desert looking (mostly) north.

The Way down

The path I took down…should have brought a walking stick.  I slipped a couple of times on the way down.  Go figure, loose lava rock and shifting sand…how stable.

The Cauldera

Another view of the dome and caldera from the beginning of my downward path.

Lava field

At the bottom again, looking toward Amboy.  The lava field is at least 3 miles in any direction.  Pretty good ejection for a small volcano.  Still wouldn’t want to be around when it goes off again.


A new friend!  Scared the crap out of an 8 year old girl on the trail.  Why can young girls make that noise that only they can…you know the one I’m talking about.  The one that makes your ears bleed.  Luckily, the tarantula didn’t mind.  Little known fact, tarantula hair is used as itching powder.

Lava lava everywhere

On the trail back.  Bring water!!! Just a brief visit takes about 3 hours.

All in all, the hour long trip from my observatory was well worth it.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +, or by email.


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