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The two RV Gypsies learned the difference between hoodoos, pinnacles, spires, fossil fumaroles, and lots of history.

The two RV Gypsies at The Pinnacles
- Prominent Geological Features of
Crater Lake National Park
in Oregon
August 4, 2013
- Page 2 of 2

history clipart bookThese towering needle-like formations of rock, called fossil fumaroles, projecting from the Sand Creek Canyon floor, were formed under sheets of volcanic pumice that preceded Mazama's collapse.

As the surface of the hot pumice cooled over the years, steam and gases were released by the hot rocks underneath through vents and tubes that were welded into cement hardness by their passage. These ancient vents now stand alone due to the erosion of the surrounding softer materials.

sign about Fossilized Steam
sign about Mount Mazama's eruption
sign explainging steam and vents
how Pinnacles are formed
sign about pinnacles
how water escapes
avalanche sign

The two RV Gypsies took an easy walk along the rim of Pinnacle Valley. There were great views of volcanic spires and the had to use caution near cliffs. The trail was accessible to wheelchairs with assistance, and was also open to bicycles.

Pinnacles trailhead sign
Pinnacles - spires

history clipart bookFormed during the same eruption that gave birth to Crater Lake, these volcanic spires are tucked away in the park's southeast corner. These needle-like formations of rock, called fossil fumaroles, projecting from the Sand Creek Canyon floor, were formed under sheets of volcanic pumice that preceded Mazama's collapse. As the surface of the hot pumice cooled over the years, steam and gases were released by the hot rocks underneath through vents and tubes that were welded into cement hardness by their passage. These ancient vents now stand alone due to the erosion of the surrounding softer materials.

Pinnacles - spires
Pinnacles - spires
Pinnacles - spires
Pinnacles - spires
Pinnacles - spires
Pinnacles - spires
Pinnacles - spires
hole in a pinnacle
Pinnacles - spires
Pinnacles - spires
the history of the pinnacles and Mt Mazama
explanation of pinnacles
Mt Mazama - Crater Lake map
pinnacles - spires
pinnacles - spires
pinnacles - spires

Hoodoos versus Pinnaclesbullhorn

Hoodoos are spires composed of soft sedimentary rock, and are topped by a piece of harder stone that is less easily-eroded and protects the column from the elements. They protrude from the bottom of arid basins and badlands. Bryce Canyon is the most well-known area for hoodoos.

line break

Pinnacles have a smoother profile or uniform thickness that tapers from the ground upward. These spires are smaller and typically not climbed and are clustered together, sort of like hoodoos.

line break
sign - Vidae Falls

Vidae Falls- This is the only publicized waterfall of the waterfalls in Crater Lake National Park. Vidae Creek drains a very small area near the rim of the Crater Lake caldera but is also fed by a very consistent albeit somewhat low volume spring. Thanks to the high elevation of the source there is always ample flow in the creek to make the falls presentable. The falls splash over a three-stepped bluff, dropping 115 feet before cascading down a steep talus slope and flowing under the Crater Rim drive. There is said to be another waterfall less than half a mile downstream as well, but accessing it would be an entirely off-trail endeavor.

Vidae Falls
Vidae Falls

After leaving Vidae Falls, the two RV Gypsies noticed smoke coming in from fires. The beautiful scenery and the fantastic Crater Lake could barely be seen. And people were just arriving at the park. The two RV Gypsies are so glad they got to see the beauty of this National Park before the smoke set in.

smoke from fires spoils the view

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