Another shot from the Valle Grande in the Valles Caldera between White Rock and Jemez Springs on New Mexico Route 4, a road I highly recommend if you don’t mind some truly scary switchbacks. (Don’t let Junior drive!) You have two assignments: 1) find the automobile, and 2) locate this forested lava dome in the previous image. (There’s a 90 degree shift in orientation, if that helps.) Nice, huh?
The volcanic explosion that took the top off what may have been a 25,000 ft high mountain roughly one million years ago, thus creating this space, is thought to have blasted 500 times the volume of material into the air that Mt. St. Helens did. That’s a lot of rock and ash, never mind the lava flows, which goes a long way toward explaining the topography of northern New Mexico. And this wasn’t the only volcano in the mix, by any means.