The Volcano ♦ Part 1

North and West Side

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The Volcano 01 with bread loaf rock DSCF2124aSee also:

The Volcano ♦ Part 2

On this page:

  • Krakatoa Rock
  • Giant Bread Loaf Boulder
  • General Vicinity


Virgin Islands 08a Google EarthTHE LARGE BOULDER that dominates the base of The Volcano’s west end is an example of ‘rock sculpture.’ The White Tank monzonite was fractured into many cracks and joints, usually two sets intersecting at nearly right angles. The agents of erosion are best able to attack the rock along these zones of weakness and weathering occurs at a faster rate. The result is boulders which are roughly rectangular in shape. A massive rectangular boulder to the left of the road illustrates this type of erosion. You can just see it in the satellite image at right where the trail leads to it from the road. (Click to Enlarge)

Anak Krakatau ("Son of Krakatoa), erupts 2012

Anak Krakatau (“Son of Krakatoa), erupts 2012

The Park’s Geology Tour stop 6 is where this photogenic pebble can be found. High above it, though left undescribed in the Park brochure, is another large boulder marking The Volcano’s apex, “Krakatoa Rock,” named after the famous Indonesian volcano that exploded in 1883, destroying coastal communities and killing thousands. It is rebuilding anew as per this dramatic image from 2012. It’s name in English is “son of Krakatoa.”

The Volcano Joshua Tree DSCF2140

The Volcano at Joshua Tree National park, let me say, is a saddle shaped rock pile when viewed from either the north or east side, with a shallow pass separating the two halves. Most of the main rock climbs are found on the eastern side nearest the end. Further detailed 3D Galleries and commentary are provided in The Volcano, Part 2.

A few hundred yards south of The Volcano lie two neighboring rock piles, Lechlinski Crack Formation and The Ski Slope, while half a mile across the plain rises a dark, sinister-looking volcanic prominence known as Malapai Hill.

Geology Tour Road begins its 900ft glide down to Pleasant Valley from The Volcano formation where it skirts the west end. Stop 6 provides ample parking space a short distance above the bread loaf boulder. (There is no turnout for Stop 6, only a widening in the road on the left hand side as you descend. See Google Earth graphic map above.)


2D Slideshow

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3D Anaglyph Gallery

Be my guest and download as many of the 3D Anaglyph or 3D Half Side-by-Side photographs as you wish. Note: 3D H-SBS images should be saved only if you have access to a 3D TV. Otherwise viewing them properly will be—like riding a Segway through the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg—somewhat of an unpleasant experience.

3D Half Side-by-Side Gallery

Suitable for 3D TV viewing. Half Side-by-Sides avoid the minor Anaglyph anomalies that can occur. Click images to enlarge. 1080p resolution. Or Windows users, right-click and choose SAVE LINK AS.


Thank you for visiting The Volcano at Joshua Tree’s unusual Virgin Islands formation, one of the highlights of the Geology Tour Road’s scenery.

John Murbach


Posted 2015 Oct 26

Updated 2017 Nov 6