The Eastern Sierra is a varied geographical landscape. There are granite filled mountains, deserts
peppered with hot springs, juniper forests, and volcanic craters all in a
sagebrush wonderland. It is the perfect
landscape for running and exploring. One
of my most favorite “adventure runs” is what I call "The Volcano" but is actually called Red Mountain.
The Volcano is really a cinder cone south of Tinemaha Campground and
offers one of the best views in the valley. From the top of the cone, you can experience the deepness of the Owens
valley with fourteen thousand foot peaks on both sides of you. The north side of the crater has a steep slope
perfect for scree running. Running from
the base of The Volcano is about 2 miles round-trip, however, you can increase
the distance to 5.5 miles by starting and finishing at Tinemaha campground. Starting at the campground provides a good
warm up before climbing the steep uphill.
Often, I power hike to the crater or get into low running gear. The top is the best part of the run; the
views, the terrain, and the openness of the valley are around you. After taking in the inspiring view, running
down the North side scree slope gives you the equivalent high to skiing powder snow
– seriously, it’s really fun. If you are
into adventure running, where you’re on and off trails, boulder hopping, and occasionally
getting scratched by sagebrush, The Volcano is a great one to check out. For more information, download the description from Sage to Summit for free.
There is great dirt road running all around The Volcano
It is an adventure: No trails just bushwhacking through the sage
This is the "heart rate hill"
Running the rim of the crater is beautiful
There are 14ers all around you
A view of other cinder cones in the valley
The view of the steep Sierra and deep Owens valley