Monday, April 26, 2010

Hell's Half Acre Hike - April 25, 2010

Just to the west of Idaho Falls, between I-15 to the south, and 20 to the north lies the the Hell's Half Acre Lava Flows. Hell's Half Acre flows over about 222 square miles or 162,000 acres. Sixty-six thousand acres are within a Wilderness Study Area.

Rift Hike 4/25/10

The Hell's Half Acre flows came from a vent that is located along a rift. This rift parallels the 62 mile long Great Rift that goes through Craters of the Moon National Monument. The main vent for the Hell's Half Acre flow is 95 to 200 feet wide and 730 feet long. The vent has 13 pit craters where lava flowed out and then receded. The last flow from the main vent occurred 2,000 years ago.

One of the "Pits"
Rift Hike 4/25/10

This particular hike 9 miles round trip is fairly challenging. Rough terrain, combined with lack of any water sources make for a long day hike. Twisting it's way due south, one gets little sense of progress, not many landmarks to judge one's movement by. The distant mountains give little indication that one is indeed moving. It is a long way out to the rift, no doubt about it!

Rift Hike 4/25/10

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