Hells Canyon, Idaho

Jet Boating On The Snake River
Trip Day Twenty-one: July 2, 2000
Columnar Basalt

The cliffs in these pictures are made up of columnar basalt. This is volcanic in origin, and when the magma cools it crystallizes into six-sided columns. It is quite rare, and when seen in separate rocks after they have fallen away from the parent formation, the rocks look as if they were man-made.

The rock in the middle of the second picture at Moraine Lake in Alberta is a fragment of columnar basalt.

Page last updated August 11, 2000.