Fossil Falls, along US 395


Here’s an interesting natural attraction that you could easily miss. Fossil Falls is just a short drive off the highway, but there are only a couple of signs that give no indication of its beauty. Turn at the signs, drive a short distance on a dirt road, then hike about a half mile.

Fossil Falls is a 40-foot waterfall that’s now completely dry. At one time, rushing water sliced through the black volcanic rock, forming smooth curves that rival anything a sculptor could create. The swirling water also formed deep holes, some of which might be partially full from recent rains. These photos don’t do justice to this naturally-occurring sculpture.

Looking down the falls, you can see US 395 in the valley below.

During my visit in April 2005, I found hundreds of wildflowers all along the trail to the falls. The wide variety rivaled that of Death Valley.

Continue down 395 to Cal. Hwy 58, which will take you east to Barstow. From there, pick up Interstate 40 (which begins here, and ends more than 2,000 miles later in North Carolina). Don’t worry, we won’t be on the interstate for long.

Note: This trip was first published in 2005.  I spent more time in this area during the Superbloom Trip of 2016.

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