Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area plans hike to 'crater' volcano

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) Volunteer Naturalist Bob Hickey will lead the public on a fascinating hike Saturday, April 13 to explore an extinct volcano northeast of Salida. The hike will begin at 8 a.m. and ends around 4 p.m.

There are lovely views of the surrounding area and as the hike enters the forest, the trail drops into upper Cottonwood Gulch and the volcanic rock zone of the Salida Volcano Field. There is a beautiful pond as the hike begins to climb up beside Rick Mountain, which is a large volcanic deposit. The trail then follows the west slopes of Big Baldy Mountain, the main volcano in this area, to a saddle connecting Big Baldy with The Crater where hikers can stand on the rim and look into a small, but real, volcanic cone.

Hikers should bring plenty of water, snacks, a sack lunch and sunscreen, wear good hiking shoes and dress accordingly for the weather. A hiking stick or pole would be helpful on the cone of the crater. This is a moderate 9-mile round trip hike. Because of the distance, it is not suitable for children under 10 years old.

Space is limited. Please call AHRA at 719-539-7289 by April 12 to register and receive more information. There is no charge. Dogs must be on a leash.


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