Valley of Fires

 

Valley of Fires Recreation Area is located in the Malpais (Spanish for bad land) of the Tularosa Valley.  A 44-mile-long carpet of lava covers the valley floor, spewed from the vent (not volcano) at Little Black Peak some 1000-1500 years ago.  In some places it is 160 feet deep.  The 2/3-mile hiking trail through the lava has numerous exhibits explaining the geology and ecology of the area.

This juniper is estimated to be over 400 years old.  Air pockets or bubbles in the lava, which collapsed after the surface cooled, left large, sheltered holes where blowing dirt accumulated and seeds settled.

 

Trails and Treasures Home Page   Journey to the American Southwest 2003