The Inferno Cone is a large cinder cone completely devoid of vegetation except on the flat top. The short trek up this cone is a most unusual hike that goes straight up the slope without switchbacks and is fairly steep, but it is short enough for most people to manage.
From the top there is a 360-degree view of the surrounding volcanic landscape, and lava flows and cinder cones are the most prominent features. The stunted and dead trees make the views that much more fascinating. This is a great area to take a close look at the various colors of volcanic rock and to notice how light some of the rock is. The lightest pieces will actually float.
Cinder cones are formed when a volcanic eruption throws up molten rock and ash with a high gas content. The rock and ash drop as they cool, and the buildup eventually forms a cone-shaped hill. The Inferno Cone eruptions occurred from 15,000 to as recently as 2,000 years ago.