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Obsidian Dome

Deadman Summit, June Lake Loop, Mammoth Lakes, CA
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Ranked #12 of 26 Attractions in Mammoth Lakes
Type: Geologic Formations
Description: Location is in Mono County near June lakes, this natural dome was created out of lava which solidified to black glass, hence the name, obsidian.
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38 reviews from our community

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London
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
40 attraction reviews
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2014 NEW

Obsidian Dome is a mile-long 300 foot high lava dome that is part of the Mono-Inyo Craters volcanic chain located in the Inyo National Forest. The Dome is essentially a big pile of shiny black volcanic glass that was formed less than half a million years ago when magma reached the water table, turned the water to steam, cooled rapidly,... More

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Imperail Beach
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
23 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014

A great place to check out and read some history on it. This young Obsidian Dome is on the the best places to see a hill of solid obsidian. The lavas were extruded as highly viscous flows much like toothpaste might be squeezed from a tube. Climb to the top for trails and interesting pieces.

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Fremont, California
Top Contributor
1,495 reviews 1,495 reviews
950 attraction reviews
915 helpful votes 915 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

Obsidian Dome is a mile-long 300 foot high lava dome that is part of the Mono–Inyo Craters volcanic chain located in the Inyo National Forest. To see it, one needs to drive on a non paved road. Some of the rocks look just like rocks - average - nice but nothing special; but when you see the glistening black obsidian... More

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Thoiry, France
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
49 attraction reviews
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

Certainly an impressive sight to see the volcanic rocks all piled up in a dome-like feature sitting in the middle of the pine forest. However, the quality of the obsidian was not what we thought, as we were hoping to find the very glassy black obsidian used to make arrow points. The bulk of the obsidian was not very glassy... More

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Yountville, California
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
31 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

Right off Highway 395. Rough road, dusty. potentially dangerous - stay off of that broken debris. A challenging adventure, best seen from the Hiway.

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San Jose, California
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
32 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

While on a fishing trip in the east Sierra, I stopped by the site. This is a stop for geologists or students of the formation of this geographic area. Quite a spectacular mound of black glass. Little to no markings around the area. No amenities of any kind. Drive in on unpaved roads to the foot of the dome. The... More

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so. bay
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

Reaching the top of the Obsidian dome, a person should have a good tire patch kit or good spare tires. The road is littered with very sharp obsidian rocks, capable of slashing car and bike tires. The view at the top highlights the Mammoth and June Lake areas.

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Los Angeles
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
14 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

You either are impressed or not. It looks like a big hunk of rock, but if you learn a bit about what it really is, it's impressive. It's a quick drive off the 395 to check it out. The kids were impressed and took some obsidian back to their teachers.

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Knoxville, Tennessee
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
15 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

That's it. Don't expect anything else. But it is very impressive. This has to be the world's largest pile of riprap. So if you have an hour to kill and are fascinated by such naturally occurring phenomena, go for it. And do not consider driving the entire loop unless you have 4-wheel drive with high ground clearance (we did, and... More

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Los Angeles, California, United States
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
31 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

The drive in from H395 is easy although on a dirt road. This is a mountain of black obsidian otherwise known as volcanic glass. There are huge boulders weighing several tons as well as smaller pieces reflecting the sun. The early native Americans collected this obsidian for making arrowheads and projectile points and for trading throughout the southwest. Remember not... More

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