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Jun 03 2013
Charger55
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 Guides 4
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40 male
 Joined Oct 19 2010
 Mesa, AZ
Twenty Mile Lava Trail, ID 
Twenty Mile Lava Trail, ID
 
Hiking avatar Jun 03 2013
Charger55
Hiking10.00 Miles
Hiking10.00 Miles   6 Hrs      1.67 mph
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1st trip
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The name of this trail is a real misnomer. First of all, it's only about 10 miles out and back to the main lava vent. Secondly, there is no trail. At least not in the developed and maintained sense of the word. There are a series of colored poles (blue for a short loop, red for the full monty) that lead the way.

However, one part of the trail's name is spot on. Lava! This whole part of Idaho is one giant lava field. There's a reason they call this Hell's Half Acre. This is rough and rugged terrain that demoralized and immobilized early settlers when they came through here. Flat ground does not exist in Hell's Half Acre. I was moving at a snail's pace across the lava field due to the sharp rocks and rolling waves of lava. Oh, and let's not forget about the fissures, some 30 feet deep that you have to hop across.

Finally, after about three hours I made it to the lava vent. It's in a valley of pure black lava with almost no vegetation. It's surrounded by walls of lava that give everything a post-apocalyptic feel. The vent looks remarkably like the Sarlacc pit from Return of the Jedi (minus the tentacles). Not wanting to be slowly digested over a thousand years I didn't get too close to the edge. Actually, I did, and it drops down quite a ways. One small accident out here could be fatal. I took my time going back, not that moving quickly was an option.
_____________________
"I've driven across deserts, driven by the irony, that only being shackled to the road could ever I be free"
- Frank Turner "The Road"
average hiking speed 1.67 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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