Explore Fossil Falls off CA’s Highway 395
Today we’re exploring Fossil Falls, a unique geological site located just over 2 hours outside of Los Angeles.
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Thousands of years ago lava flowed through the Owens River Valley and a river of lava rocks are still visible here today.
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To reach the falls, exit the 395 onto the unpaved Cinder Road. After a short drive, you’ll find the free daytime parking area & the main trailhead.
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From the parking area it’s a short .21 mile hike to the magnificent chasm, or .12 miles to the small campground area, which has about 12 campsites.
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The path is fairly defined, but a few parts split off. Look for orange lichen markings on the rocks & stay on the main trail that looks most traveled.
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You can climb around and down into the giant rock chasm, but always use wisdom and adventure within your own comfort and skill level.
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Just north of the falls is Red Cinder Mountain. Often referred to as Red Hill (for obvious reasons)...this is actually a cinder cone volcano.
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The Fossil Falls Archaeological District is on the National Register of Historic Places. Native Americans lived here through the 19th century.
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Flat terrain abruptly opens revealing the spectacular lava falls. I recommend starting your hike by exploring around the rim of this massive chasm.
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This area offers bouldering, top rocking, and traditional climbing on 50+ documented routes up to 100 feet in length.
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Fossil Falls makes for a great & quick stop to stretch your legs on any Hwy 395 road trip, or plan an overnight camping adventure here.
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For more of my favorite Hwy 395 California stops, see my other Jumpropes or visit FlyingDawnMarie.com for full blog posts and YouTube travel videos.
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