Twisted Frosty Coffee Toffee?
Sorry, it's not Twisted Frosty Coffee Toffee ?
Giant termite hills? Nope. A Verde Valley moonscape? Guess again.
Locals have simply adopted the name "Teepee Rocks" for these formations south of Camp Verde, Arizona.
The swiss-cheese look in these rocks is the result of a volcanic eruption
millions of years ago. Searing heat drew water out of sandy soil and into
pointy vents, called fumaroles.
These vents served as chimneys to discharge steam and volcanic gases,
similar to the ones found today in Yellowstone National Park.
A large amount of calcite deposited within the fumaroles give them their
cemented look and sandpapery feel. The holes and tunnels on the surface
are the result of air pockets that "burst."
The Teepee Rocks, or Cottonwood Basin Tuffs as geologists call them, are
among the few remnants of fossilized fumaroles found anywhere in the
To give them some scale, I had my wife stand (barely visible) in the
center of this picture.
February 4, 2009