Volcano Running in Long Valley Caldera
Andrew Miller is an accomplished photographer, adventurer and creative director focusing most of his work in winter climates exploring and chasing storms usually with a snowboard under his feet. From the Andes, Alps, Interior B.C. to the West Fjords of Iceland and high peaks of the Himalayas his award winning images has taken him to remote mountain ranges across the globe while working with a vast range of clients and editorial titles worldwide. From the skin track, helipad to the resort lift and sled trail Andrew has been out there creating his work and quickly establishing himself as one of the most well rounded photographers in the snow industry.
When you think of the word caldera, the first thing that comes to mind is lava, extreme temps, and a rugged volcanic landscape. Situated in the heart of the Eastern Sierra, Long Valley is one of the earth’s largest calderas created by a massive volcanic eruption over 700,000 years ago. In this massive crater sits one of the most unique landscapes in the west. The valley is lush with rich green pastures, winding rivers, glacial lakes, and natural hot springs surrounded by a vast range of some of the highest and most rugged peaks in the U.S. When people visit to hike, bike, run, snowboard, fish, or off-road, most don’t realize they are doing these activities inside, on, or next to an active volcano.
There’s no better way to take in this 20 mile long, 11 mile wide beast then by foot. The large amount of BLM protected land and miles of unpaved back roads make for an amazing trail system to enjoy all the unique qualities of this area up close. A typical afternoon adventure run starts somewhere around the lake. You can follow the rivers and take a dip to cool off before gaining some elevation, cruising through various forest burns, and scrambling through some obsidian rock domes. Finally, you can top things off with an epic sunset view on top of the vista. As the end of summer is nearing, these long warm days on the trails will soon fade as the leaves start to change, temps drop, and the landscape slowly turns white. Get it in while you can… winter is coming!
Great place to reflect on things under the watchful eyes of Mt Morrison & Mt Laurel.
As you get higher up the Long Valley Caldera the scene changes from green pastures to a sea of rocky obsidian making you feel like you’ve landed on mars.
Best part of exploring this area on foot is finding secret spots off the trail that you might normally just drive past without noticing.
Miles and miles of back gravel roads all to yourself here in the heart of the Eastern Sierras.
Always more inspiring to run through a multitude of different landscapes throughout the day. Here, remnants of an old forest fire charred the land but after a record breaking winter the spring & summer run-off rapidly increased new growth restarting the cycle of life and making for really enjoyable soft and fast trails.
Various Obsidian domes lay across the Caldera making from some fun scrambling and trippy views across the shiny volcanic glass rock.
Empty roads, colorful California wildflowers, and towering 13,000ft peaks make for some easy motivation to keep up the pace.
The halfway point on this run requires a mandatory dip in the river for a quick recharge. This is just few miles down from the Hot Creek geological site, so the water’s just the perfect temperature for a warm day.
Smokey Sunsets up on the Minaret Vista and the edge of Caldera. All that is West from here is endless miles of rugged trails, passes, and peaks just waiting to be explored.