Between Hope Ranch Beach and Arroyo Burro Beach lies an active volcanic area. It isn't steam like the activity in Yellowstone or lava flow like in Hawaii. It is a solfatara, or “fire well” gaps in the rock where gas and steam seep up where is can catch fire. It was first recorded in 1784 and often it is just a smokey smolder. Hope Ranch locals say it smells like someone is tarring their roof on the particularly active days and that the smell carries a mile inland. Fire crews have to put out brush fires it causes on occasion including the day after we were there!
Why it is a favorite: steam rising up out of the hill spontaneously!
Location: 1.3 miles away from Arroyo Burro Beach (on a map it is adjacent to Alisa Lane) or much shorter with Hope Ranch Beach access. It is a long walk, but we have friends who take bikes to ride to it.
Directions: From the entrance to Arroyo Burro Beach, head west toward Hope Ranch Beach (right) for 1.3 miles (or more if you meander like my kids).
Time Spent: 1-2 hours depending kids and beach play
Parking: Arroyo Burro has 2 free parking lots with lots of spaces. It does fill up and you can park across the street on Alan Road.
More info: Arroyo Burro Beach, recent fire at the volcano, and historical info about it
Kid Quotes: "The steam was cool." 10 year old
|Hope Ranch Volcano taken by Hugh Margerum|
|Beach House (just before the volcano)|
|Cliff before Hope Ranch Beach (just after the volcano)|