Vulcan’s Scrapyard

Vulcan’s Scrapyard

Located along the Jane Lakes Forest Service Road southwest of Whistler’s Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood, this prominent half-kilometre escarpment of columnar dacite (a lava with a much higher silica content than basalt) represents the terminus of a lava flow from the volcano that erupted at Logger’s Lake.

It has an imposing skyline presence, exhibiting particularly straight columnar jointing and active crumbling that has created leaning towers, a large talus slope, and a topside cross-section of receding forest. Columns sourced here for decorative purposes can be seen in and around Whistler. Just to the east, this same lava formation is currently mined for aggregate, asphalt and other industrial uses.

Protection and guardianship are at the heart of the Geopark philosophy. We ask that you treat the land with the same reverence as its original inhabitants, and not remove anything from a site but what you’ve brought to help preserve it for future generations.

  • not tumbling dice, but tumbling dacite
  • erosion effects on forest
  • source of Whistler’s iconic decorative rock

GEOLOGIC CONTEXT:

A half-kilometre-long escarpment of columnar dacite representing the terminus of a lava flow from the putative Logger’s Lake Volcano.

HOW TO SEE IT:

Located on the southwest side of the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood, 8 km south of Whistler Village. From Hwy 99 turn onto Cheakamus East Forest Service Rd., after 450 m bear right over the bridge. Make your first right onto Jane Lakes Road. Park at the Train Wreck Trail lot. Walk ~500 metres on the gravel-surfaced Cheakamus River Forest Service Rd. (formerly Jane Lakes FSR) to an old gated entrance on your left. Cross past this to the escarpment.

Services:

Parking.

Hazards:

Unstable rock areas; stay behind fencing and on marked areas.

Decimal Degrees (DD)

50.078133, -123.0537

Degrees Decimal Minutes (DDM)

50° 4.6880' N  123° 3.2220' W

Degrees Minutes Seconds (DMS)

50° 4' 41.28" N  123° 3' 13.32" W

What Are Pillars?

The Fire & Ice Aspiring Geopark comprises four main geological pillars referenced in all interpretive material: (M)ountain Building, (G)laciation, (V)olcanism and (C)ollapse.

MOUNTAIN BUILDING

Mountain building can involve several processes that contribute to the formation of mountains, such as the collision of tectonic plates that result in folding, faulting, metamorphism and the creation of subduction zones associated with volcanic activity and igneous intrusion.

GLACIATION

Glaciation refers to landform phenomena associated with the formation, movement and recession of glaciers and ice sheets. In temperate latitudes such as British Columbia, montane glaciation at higher altitudes is the norm while continental glaciation occurred during Ice Ages like the recent Pleistocene.

VOLCANISM

Volcanism is the eruption of subterranean molten rock (magma) and gasses onto the surface of the planet and includes the production of volcanic landforms and the effects of eruptions and flowing lava on pre-existing surface formations.

COLLAPSE

Collapse is a term that refers broadly to both slow processes of destabilization and erosion by wind, water and ice, as well as rapid processes like rockfall and landslides.

Whether acting as primary or secondary forces, one or more of these processes figure in the creation of each geosite.