Malapai Hill

At Pleasant Valley

Malapai Hill Joshua Tree DSCF2085

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Calif49’s Geology Tour Road “Revisited” page

MALAPAI HILL LIES ON THE WEST SIDE of Geology Tour Road at Stop 7. According to an early (1975) Park brochure that my friend Elliot quotes from on his website:

Squaw Tank and Pleasant Valley

Squaw Tank and Pleasant Valley

7. “MALAPAI HILL. Three-quarters of a mile west of this point the twin peaks of Malapai Hill rise about 400 feet above the valley floor. The hill is composed largely of black basalt and apparently resulted from a shallow injection of molten or liquid material which did not quite reach the surface of the earth. If it had reached the surface, a lava flow or volcano would have resulted, but no such flow exists. The basalt intrudes the quartz monzonite and is probably quite young, though its true age is unknown. It could have formed within the last two or three million years, which is quite recent compared to the gneiss, which is over 700 million years old.”

Close by Malapai are the Virgin Islands Group, as well as a delicately balanced rock; below, Squaw Tank with its little 1920s period rancher dam, and the serene landscape at the junction of Queen and Pleasant Valleys. This stop on the Geology Tour Road is well worth getting out of the car and exploring. Check the other Geology Tour Road Galleries from the main index page for some interesting spots around Malapai Hill.


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I have every wish that you enjoyed viewing the splendid images around Malapai Hill and its stark, lonesome abode on the valley floor. Spectacular views and photo opportunities can be had all along the Geology Tour Road!

John Murbach

Temple City, California


Posted 2015 Nov 6

Updated 2017 Nov 10