Bandera Volcano

Bandera Crater is the largest volcanic cinder cone in the region. It erupted around 10,000 years ago. There were two stages of the eruption: first the cinder cone developed, then a massive lava flow broke out this side. The molten lava reaches temperatures above 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Bandera's lava flow is nearly 23 miles long. At the end of the eruption, the lava suddenly fell back down the main vent making the bottom of the cone deeper than the outside lava flow. This crater is nearly 1200 feet wide at the top and roughly 750 deep. The elevation at the look out point is 8122. The elevation at the rim is 8372. Over time, erosion and gravity take their toll on the crater and it is slowly filling up as cinders and rocks fall down into it. This makes for a very fragile environment. In the picture above, Mt. Taylor can be seen in the distance behind Bandera.

Bandera In Winter - January 1997