Hike California Volcanoes

Reserve your stay at The Springs at Borrego RV Resort and take a day trip to Salton Buttes, a group of four active California volcanoes on the Salton Sea that have erupted in ‘recent’ times, and could easily do so again. So, go now before they start rumbling.

Are California Volcanoes Dangerous?

At least seven California volcanoes, including nearby Salton Buttes, have erupted recently enough that the California Volcano Observatory (CalVO) classifies them as active.

Although eruptions can be destructive, you can take comfort in knowing that ‘recent’ to a geologist is a much longer time than it is to anyone else. Salton Buttes last erupted about one thousand years before the birth of Jesus. And just like alerts for smog, forest fires, earthquakes, and tsunamis, CalVO issues warnings when an eruption is imminent. So far, so good.

California volcanoes

Salton Buttes Day Hike

Hop in the car and head east on Ocotillo Road/Hwy 78 to get to the south end of Salton Sea and the Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge for your encounter with California volcanoes.

Obsidian Butte, Rock Hill, Red Island, and Mullet Island make up the Salton Buttes. Unlike cartoon volcanoes that spew fire and rocks, these formations are low-lying domes that overlook the Wildlife Refuge and the thousands of shore birds that nest there. It’s an easy trek up these California volcanoes –even little children can do it.

Particularly interesting is Obsidian Butte, a 2500 year-old volcanic dome that consists of pumice and black obsidian, formed when lava rapidly cooled. Native Americans used the obsidian to make tools and knives. In fact, shards of the black glass still can be found at the sea’s edge.

Hike in Cool Weather

November through April is the best time to go. Even though the Salton Buttes will probably not erupt anytime time soon, the surrounding area is a geothermal field of mud pots. It’s hot! Your day trip’s highlight will likely be the sulfurous water and mud that gurgles and hisses and boils up from the sinkholes. Different types of algae live in the mud pots – some red, some green – so take your camera to get pics of your trip to real California volcanoes.

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