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Obsidian Dome

Deadman Summit, June Lake Loop, Mammoth Lakes, CA
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Ranked #11 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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37 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Imperail Beach
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
15 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 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
1,151 reviews 1,151 reviews
716 attraction reviews
824 helpful votes 824 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
69 reviews 69 reviews
49 attraction reviews
77 helpful votes 77 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
113 reviews 113 reviews
31 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 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
30 helpful votes 30 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
22 helpful votes 22 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
54 reviews 54 reviews
30 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 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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Menifee, California
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

Fans of geology will enjoy this quick side trip to see a large dome comprised of obsidian, sometimes referred to as "black glass" for its shiny appearance. Native Americans used this resource for arrowheads. Someone taking this trip should also check out the nearby Inyo Craters, and if time allows, the Bald Mountain Lookout. Devil's Punchbowl, the Wilson Butte, Mono... More

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