House Mountain Shield Volcano
Red sky in the morning - Climber, take warning!
Red sky at night - Climber's Delight!!
House Mountain, as seen at daybreak, lies in the Coconino National Forest between the Village of Oak Creek and Cornville, Arizona.
House Mountain Shield Volcano outside the Village of Oak Creek first
erupted 14.5 million years ago, just under what was then the original edge
of the Mogollon Rim. One of five active volcanoes in the Verde Valley,
the House Mountain lava flows were deflected by the the imposing Mogollon
Rim, covering the Verde Valley many meters deep in lava.
The Verde Fault was more active then, and over 6,000' of rock was down-
dropped to create the Verde Valley. Continued subsistence eventually caused
the Verde River to stop flowing, forming the ancient Verde Lakes.
Two million years ago, the valley was filled with sediments which completely covered House Mountain Volcano. The Verde River and Oak Creek flowed over the sediments, swiftly cutting into them. The top fifty feet or so of the mesa known as Tabletop Mesa, site of the Sedona Airport, was deposited by Oak Creek!!
As these erosional forces continue over the NEXT million years, the
Mogollon Rim will eventually MEET with the Grand Canyon, creating a
SUPER GRAND CANYON covering most of northern and central Arizona.
[Photo taken north of central AZ's (Beaverhead-Cornville Road), which is
the only approach to this dormant volcano. Please prepare for Catclaw,
various types of cactus and shin-dagger Agave plants. Rattlers in season!!]
August 16, 2008