Cucapá Fumarole

Cucapá Fumarole

I cut east across Laguna Salada to Sierra de los Cucapá, where there was supposed to be a thermal steam vent (fumarole). Even when the lakebed is dry, there is still a bit of water to cross. Here is the muddy-bottom canal, which can only be easily crossed in a few places. See in Google Maps See on a USGS topographic map See in Google Earth  32.2968, -115.5835 

Laguna Salada - Road - Water CrossingLaguna Salada - Water Crossing

Entering David Canyon, and driving up the wash

Laguna Salada - Cucapa Fumarole - David Canyon - Wash - RoadLaguna Salada - Cucapa Fumarole - David Canyon - Wash - RoadCucapa Fumarole - La Salada Canyon - Road - WashCucapa Fumarole - La Salada Canyon - Road - Wash

At See in Google Maps See on a USGS topographic map See in Google Earth  32.3189, -115.4133  I parked the van and hiked the last half mile to the fumarole site. A quarter mile later, I started to hear something like a distant jet engine, and spotted a plume of steam rising into the air.

The fumarole is loud. I carefully leaned over to peer down into the sulfur-smelling rising steam and boiling muddy water below. The surrounding ground is too hot to allow normal plants to grow, but there is a strange green substance (algae?) living among the rocks. See in Google Maps See on a USGS topographic map See in Google Earth  32.3269, -115.4170 

Cucapa Fumarole - Steam PlumeCucapa Fumarole - Steam PlumeCucapa Fumarole - Boilding Water - Mud BubblesCucapa Fumarole - Green Growth

Here's a little video I made: https://youtu.be/fl8rgEin-bY

More Info

Though I got to the fumarole from the west (Laguna Salada), it looks like it's possible to access it from the east (Highway 5) - a trip of only 7 miles - starting at See in Google Maps See on a USGS topographic map See in Google Earth  32.2919, -115.3238 

According to this paper, the fumarole was created by (and appeared soon after) the April 4, 2010 magnitude-7.2 "El Mayor-Cucapah" earthquake.