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The Bandera Volcano Crater is but one of 29 volcanoes in this area. From this point along the trail leading to the Bandera Crater 15 of these are visible. In this picture you can see 8 of those.

The trails at Bandera lead past several interesting formations caused by different situations in the life of a volcano:
Spatter Cones - formed when minor vents form in the molten lava. A surge of hot air rushes through the lava forming surface tubes and minor vents. When the air breaks through the surface, lava will splash out forming a type of blow hole. Cinder Cone - This is a cross section of this volcano - a cinder cone. The volcano began as the earth started to swell. Eventually a crack broke open and high pressure lava began spraying out. The molten rock hardened in mid-air and fell back down to the ground as cinders. As the eruption continued, the cinder cone got larger and larger.

Devil's Playground - Here you see the beginning of the Bandera lava tube system - the large canyon that snakes out from the crater. This section of lava flow illustrates how violent this eruption must have been. The forboding name for this area came from early sheep herders. The lava is very sharp, jagged, and makes good shelter for rattlesnakes. It is very treacherous to walk in.

Lightning Tree - The trees that grow on the lava face yet enother type of problem. This lava flow is rich in iron content and this tends to draw lightning strikes to the trees growing in it. This tree was struck in July, 1992.

Bandera Crater Look Out Point - The largest cinder cone volcano in the region, the Bandera crater is nearly 1400 feet wide at the top and roughly 800 feet deep. The elevation at the look out point is 8036 feet. The lava flow from Bandera is nearly 23 miles long.


Text from Bandera Crater and Ice Caves pamphlet.