Fossil Falls Hike

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope all of you mom’s are enjoying the day and being loved on by your family. Mother’s Day is going to be different this year, but it doesn’t mean you are loved any less. I wanted to dedicate this post to my mom and my mother-in-law, both of whom have been so incredibly supportive to me and who are just amazing, strong, positive, caring human beings (to my moms: we’ll see each other in the future some day, but in the meantime, know that you are loved and that we are thinking of you).

My mom and dad have been sheltering in place in their apartment in Japan since January and I just want to tell them – ganbatte (loosely translated from Japanese as good luck, or keep going and persevere)! I wanted to virtually take them on a hike to a place they’ve never been before and mentally, at least, get outside.

Ok then, grab your water bottle (cup of coffee) and a jacket (a cozy blanket) and let’s explore Fossil Falls (get comfortable on your sofa). Fossil Falls is located on the east side of the Sierra Mountains along Hwy 395, a little north of Red Rock Canyon State Park in California. The hike is short and flat with 360° views, but the main attraction is exploring Fossil Falls.

Enter Fossil Falls Scenic Area through Cinder Road. The drive to the parking lot is on an unpaved road (firmly packed dirt) to the parking area
The campground with volcanic rock and tall dried grasses was unlike any campground in the eastern sierras (like a Hawaiian and African wonderland)
This is one of my daughter’s photos as we explored the campground, finding beauty in a puddle on the side of the road
This place feels vast, surrounded by mountain ranges on many sides
You got me, I just can’t seem to stop taking pictures
One of the landmarks near Fossil Falls seen from Hwy 395 is this cinder cone called Red Hill
Now let’s start walking on the trail to Fossil Falls, you’ll have to walk a bit between the lava rocks at points, but it’s a relatively easy walk
Breathe in the crisp, fresh air 
Scramble along the giant rocks (you can see my daughter’s yellow hat in the distance to give you some perspective)
Take a look at the “falls”

Fossil falls, as you see, is not actually a water fall. Nor are there any fossils of animals from long past. The “falls” is made up of lava rocks which have been sculpted smooth and polished by rushing water and wind during the last ice ages.

Water still trickes through the “falls”
Incredible colors and interesting shapes on the chasm wall
Always be careful, there is actually a deep chasm in front of us a few feet
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Follow me, watch out for the puddles
A closer look shows how the rocks have eroded over time

There are circular shaped holes in the rocks which are called “potholes.” It seems that high current eddies were formed with granite rocks inside, drilling holes into the volcanic rock.

There was still ice in the shade back in December
One last view before we head back, you can see where there is running water along the bottom
My daughter had a blast taking pictures here, couldn’t get her to leave

Although we stayed on the area above the chasm, there were people rapelling down to the bottom or finding easier, less steep routes to hike down. However you explore, there is beauty all around. Just take the time to look close and appreciate what nature created.

Thanks for joining us on this short hike to explore Fossil Falls. I hope you enjoyed the scenery and maybe one day you will be able to make an in-person visit. Please stay safe and healthy everyone.

Sending love and well wishes to ALL the mom’s out there! Have a wonderful Mother’s Day.

10 replies to “Fossil Falls Hike

  1. Aya, beautiful sharing on Mother’s Day❣️. Thanks for including me too. A loving and fun outreach to us. I enjoyed the hike you provided including the commentary and unique formations caught by excellent photos. Needed a jacket for the crisp weather. I also watched my footing. Now returning, think I’ll have some warm tea and give a toast to our guide. Cheers with love. Delightful togetherness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your daughter’s picture of the puddle on the side of the road. She must get her photography skills from you! You both take such beautiful pictures. Thanks for the virtual hike, I sure am missing hiking these days!

    Liked by 1 person

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