Every once in awhile the earth cracks. Magma rises and there just isn’t a volcano nearby. These form fissures when long cracks in the earth . Small cracks form cones. The magma flows out across the landscape. the lava flow destroys most of what is in its path. When it stops, the hole filled with magma forms a cone. Short lived ones form cinder cones. This one last erupted 10,000 years ago. In total, four lava flows have came from this site.
The place of the cone is on a playa, or dry lake bed. The big industry here salt and chemical mining. Maybe not what you think when you drive by this on the road.