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July 8, 1863: Mono Craters

July 8, 2013

Mono Craters

Mono Craters, from the base of Panum Crater; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

Camp 120

Panum Crater

Mono Lake and Panum Crater rim; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

[Today] Hoffmann and I visited a chain of extinct volcanoes which stretches south of Lake Mono. They are remarkable hills, a series of truncated cones, which rise about 9,700 feet above the sea. Rock peeps out in places, but most of the surface is of dry, loose, volcanic ashes, lying as steep as the material will allow. The rocks of these volcanoes are a gray lava, pumice stone so light that it will float on water, obsidian or volcanic glass, and similar volcanic products. It was a laborious climb to get to the summit. We sank to the ankles or deeper at every step, and slid back most of each step. But it was easy enough getting down—one slope that took three hours to ascend we came down leisurely in forty-five minutes. The scene from the top is desolate enough—barren volcanic mountains standing in a desert cannot form a cheering picture. Lake Mono, that American “Dead Sea,” lies at the foot. Between these hills and our camp lie about six miles of desert, which is very tedious to ride over—dry sand, with pebbles of pumice, supporting a growth of crabbed, dry sagebrushes, whose yellow-gray foliage does not enliven the scene.

Specimens collected: Eriophyllum lanatum var. integrifolium; Hulsea vestita; Cymopterus cinerarius.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2013 2:34 pm

    I’ve got three GigaPans shot in this neighborhood to share:
    1) Mono-Inyo Craters:
    2) East Face of Sierras from Panum Dome:
    3) Mono Lake:

    Plenty more GigaPans from the area in this Gallery:


    • William H. Brewer permalink*
      July 9, 2013 4:20 pm

      Outstanding! Thanks for posting these.

      I was admiring that incredible moraine at the base of Bloody Canyon (?) when I was at Panum Crater a few weeks ago.

  2. July 9, 2013 4:10 pm

    The collections of Hulsea vestita and Cymopterus cinerarius are types of those names. The collection of Eriophyllum lanatum var. integrifolium is the type of Eriophyllum monoense Rydb. but we now treat that name as a synonym. So it was a (botanically) productive day for the survey.

  3. William H. Brewer permalink*
    July 9, 2013 5:40 pm

    Aha…thank you!

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