Hells Half Acre Trail, Idaho

I stumbled across this gem entirely by accident—it is located behind a rest stop on I-15 that I just happened to stop to pee in. 🙂

It is the site of a lava flow about 4100 years ago. The lava was thick and ropy, a lot like that from Hawaii. It was not an explosive volcanic eruption, but instead the lava oozed slowly out of cracks in the earth, flowing across the landscape. It covered 22 square miles in total. Afterwards, it was colonized by plants which began breaking the basalts down into soil. That process continues today.

Some photos:

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A portion of the lava flow

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Another part of the flow

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A collapsed hollow section

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Bubbles formed by gas in the lava

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Lichens. They use acid to break the rock into soil particles.

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Sagebrush growing in a crack

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More sagebrush

 

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3 thoughts on “Hells Half Acre Trail, Idaho

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