BLACK MOUNTAIN

 

 


Welcome to Black Mountain. The road pictured above is going to be the last drive that you will see as you get closer to this mountain. It is suggested that you visit this volcanic remnant on a Saturday or better a Sunday, as during the week, there is a lot of work going on as it is torn down for yard lava stones. As you look at the picture to your right you will be able to see the small u shaped depression in the lower gray colored wall just below Black Mountain.

To your left you can see this u - shaped depression close up. It is actually the road the workers use to dig out Black Mountain so they can make the popular lava stones you find in the front of homes along the great southwestern region. As you can see on the picture to your l eft you can see the small road is clearly large enough for a full sized dump truck, let alone any truck of passenger car to pass through. It is however blocked off to the traffic of the general public. As you enter the center of Black

Mountain itself you will be able to see a descending roadway to the center of the volcano. As you can see on the left picture it is a very large cut out where the landscaping company has dug out tons of black and red colored lava stones known as cinder. Cinder is a lightweight rock that is exclusively the result of a cinder cone volcano. Think of a cinder cone volcano eruption as a pot of bubbling oatmeal that is bubbling out slowly throwing clumps of cereal around the pot. This is very similar to the way cinder cone volcanoes erupt. Some of there extruded clumps of lava can be very large and if you have seen the movie Dante's Peak you have seen the result of what is called volcanic bombs.

These volcanic bombs can be as small as your hand and as large a house in extreme cases. More realistic is the size you see to the right and as you can see are still formidable. These two gentlemen to your right are there to give you a reasonable estimation of size. This volcanic bomb gives you an appreciation for how small large hail-stones can be. Now the best thing for you to do is go to Black Mountain and see the hill for yourself. Below are the directions to get you to this cinder cone volcano.

 

  MILES - Total Miles - Description

 Leaving the university we start our road log at the intersection of Schuster and Sun Bowl drive. First step is to proceed to entrance of Interstate 10 heading west.

  17.9 - 17.9 - Entering Interstate west, you will notice you are actually heading north, well it's alright because you are actually heading up to Las Cruces NM before returning to the normal westerly direction. Follow this freeway and enjoy the sights of the Southwestern desert until you reach the Anthony Exit (Exit 0). Exit to your right and follow the street to the top of the bridge which you saw crossing I-10.

 1.5 - 19.4 - Crossing over the bridge you are now on Texas farm road 1905 named Franklyn Rd. You will now be entering the town of Anthony Texas. Approaching the center of the town it is a small town and children are playing near the road, so please drive carefully. Following this road which curves right than left again, you approach Main street which is a T intersection with a building in front of you.

 0.3 - 19.7 - Turn right onto main street and you will notice it is quiet little town divided by two states, for no sooner to you turn right, you end up in Anthony New Mexico. That's right the city is divided by a state boarder and shares its name with each state. This is a relatively short drive, when you come up to an intersection that branches out to the left and heads straight. Prepare to turn left onto Highway 478, which is a New Mexico road. This road will lead you to your next intersection.

 4.8 - 24.5 - You will then approach the small township of Berino whereupon entering you will prepare to turn left once again, onto NM 226. Which crosses the railroad intersection and follow the road due west.

 2.5 - 27 - This is a small road which is used by farmers and their tractors, so drive carefully. Follow this road until you cross the canal and immediately run into another T road, choosing right not left.

 1.5 - 28.5 - Following this road for about 1.5 miles you will come to your last main intersection. You will then turn left onto Afton road. A small 4-way intersection with a house on the corner. Opposite your drivers side Turn left onto Afton road and follow this winding road until you reach the mesa, where Afton turns into a straight road heading due west.

 5.7 - 34.2 - Following Afton Road you will be able to see Black Mountain to your front left as you approach the intersection. This road will lead you to a dark dirt road, whose picture is located at the top of this web page. Turning left onto this road should leave Black Mountain almost directly in front to you.

 2.2 - 36.4 - You final leg of your trip is now over. I would suggest you follow the road to the left and park your vehicle before going into the volcano. I suggest this for safety reasons. The road inside the mountain is rather loose and could bury your tires. Walking on them however leaves no mark on them. Now simply walk in and enjoy the internal working of a cinder cone volcano. I suggest caution as the side can be broken with a simple shovel and a good strong swing. However they are sturdy enough to yodel in if you have the sudden urge to do so.

 

REMEMBER AS WITH ALL OUTDOOR

ACTIVITIES PLEASE BE CAREFUL

OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS

ROCKS MAY BE LOOSE

 

Special Thanks to Dr. BETSY JULIAN and Dr. JERRY HOFFER

for their invaluable contributions and knowledge.

This Page created by Markus G. Boenisch