I really liked how the campground was on a sandstone hill overlooking the massive lava field. This is the view from our site.
This is the view off the other side of the hill. You can see some lava on that side also.
Here are some statistics about this lava field.
Imagine, 44 miles long.
The next morning we hit the trail to take us right into the flow. From the hilltop, there's no end in sight. That's part of the campground on the left.
But to really appreciate it, we have to get down off our safe hill. I was fascinated with the edge of the flow. You can just imagine the surface lava cooling while the molten lava underneath continues to push against the crust.
We saw collapsed bubbles and lava tubes, like this one that went right under the trail.
It was much more interesting in person since pictures just don't do it justice.
There's plenty of vegetation in that seemingly hostile environment.
Including this juniper, estimated to be over 400 years old.
One thing that surprised me was that going off-trail was permitted. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I love the idea of freedom to explore, but I worry about the possible damage.