Fossil Falls

Located just off U. S. Highway 395 on the east side of the southern end of California’s Sierra Nevada, ironically, Fossil Falls don't have either fossils or falls. What you will find, rather, is a spectacular lava flow sculpted by rushing water and wind late in the Ice Ages—a “fossil” of nature’s handiwork. As you hike the rocky trail through the formation, you’ll wonder at first where the “falls” are because the land immediately before you is relatively flat, but abruptly, you’ll come to the chasm that reveals the spectacular lava falls.

Fossil Falls is a unique geological feature, located in the Coso Range of California. Volcanic activity along with melting glaciers in the nearby Sierra Nevada helped create the falls. Native Americans, such as the Coso People, populated the region as early as ten to twenty thousand years ago. Flakes of obsidian can be found in the area, as they would chip obsidian from the Coso Mountains for tools. The Fossil Falls archaeological district is on the National Register of Historic Places. Fossil Falls is protected as an area of critical environmental concern, and Native American artifacts may not be removed from the area. See what others experienced at Fossil Falls on Trip Advisor - Camping is available at Fossil Falls with additional information here - Directions to Fossil Falls are accessible via Google Maps -