I had some very good friends come for a visit in early May. Taking advantage of one my friend’s abilities as a Geology Professor we went to visit some nearby lava beds in New Aiyansh which is about two and a half hours from where I live.

What’s interesting about these lava beds is how young they are. This was Canada’s youngest lava flow by a long shot. Other flows are at least 2000 years old. This is only about 250 years and it totally wiped out two native villages and about 2000 people.

New Aiyansh Lava Beds

This lake was made when a lava flow dammed the Tseax River.

Lava Lake

Cam made the kids a swimming hole in Lava Lake

There is different kinds of lava to see here. Pahoehoe where Cam and Leif are and Blocky in the background. The lava is covered with a thick layer of lichen and moss.

Lichen covered lava


Pointing out the Feldspar and Olivine Crystals within a chip of lava.

Pointing out the Feldspar and Olivine Crystals

We did find a few flowers here and there, like Saxifrage and Calypso Orchids.

Gorgeous!Calypso Orchid

These tree moulds were fun to look through. A tree was covered and incinerated by the lava flow leaving behind the hollow impression of the tree.

Lava Tree Mould

The lava flow covered something like 22 km. If you have Google Earth you should look for “New Aiyansh, BC” and see just how big that is. It’s an incredible sight. When you’re standing in the middle of this lava flow, it feels like you’re standing on the moon.

Almost endless blocky lava

5 Responses to New Aiyansh Lava Beds

  1. Natalie says:

    How interesting! I didn’t know when had lava fields like that here in BC. I love walking on lava flows, and I totally agree that it is a very lunar-like terrain.

  2. Oooh, is that a little hot springs the kids are in?

  3. Erin Perry says:

    So wonderful that you have some friends to go and visit these remarkable places with, who also appreciate the outdoors so much. :-)

    Hoping we can meet families and (home learners) who enjoy these types of pursuits, too, eventually.

    I suspect it’s more about where we currently live than anything. Not such an outdoorsy crowd here ;-)

    It is so awesome how you can have that unschooling-geology-immersion-through-living groove so handy to you guys!!

  4. Magda says:

    Oh, how incredibly neat. I’d love to see that one day…

  5. paxye says:

    Wow, what an amazing place to explore! I really envy what you have available to you there in BC…

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