Cinder Cone

Photo: Cinder Cone 2015
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Naturalists Climb Cinder Cone
Those of us who live in the Princeton area value the various intriguing geologic formations in our vicinity, and Vermilion Forks Field Naturalists climbed one of these ancient sites on our May 9th  field trip, when Charlotte Sellers led nine of us up the cinder cone located east of China Ridge. This remnant of a volcano, part of the Eocene Trench in the Challis-Kamloops Belt, is constructed of pyroclastic fragments ejected from a central vent, created at least 34 million years ago! A 45-minute hike up the 30° slope took us to the top, where we were rewarded with a panoramic view. This volcanic field concealed in the woods was just one of the attractions we enjoyed on our 2-hour hike. We were lucky enough to find a few pink lady’s slippers, extensive amounts of Arrowleaf balsamroot, as well as purple violets and lupine. Avid birding members of VFFN observed 17 species of birds along our 4 km route, including Townsend’s solitaire, green-winged teal, western tanagers and turkey vultures. It was a fine morning to be outdoors!