Northern California Coast 1

Northern California Coast

See cool geologic sites that you may overlook otherwise!

northern California coast geology travel field trip copyright

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park Montana geology travel field trip tour copyright
Visit one of America's most spectacular landscapes, and home to one of the world's most incredible roads!

Burney Falls, California

Burney Falls, Northern California

Burney Falls State Park California geology travel field trip tour copyright
Bet you couldn't name California's most beautiful waterfall -- 129-foot hybrid river/aquifer Burney Falls between the Lassen and Shasta volcanoes!

25 Surprising Geological Places

25 Surprising Geological Places

Discover the surprising facts behind 25 beautiful geological sites!

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park Wyoming geology travel field trip copyright
Discover the amazing geologic story behind one of America's most scenic places!

Yellowstone East

Yellowstone Lake to Cody, Wyoming

See some of the region's best scenery and geology!

Yellowstone Lake east entrance Absaroka volcanics Buffalo Bill Cody Wyoming copyright

Grand Canyon: South Rim and Bright Angel Trail

Grand Canyon South Rim

and Bright Angel Trail

Grand Canyon National Park Arizona Bright Angel Trail south rim geology travel trip copyright
Caution:  Visiting the Grand Canyon will make you want to move out West and become an explorer and photographer!

Guatemala Volcanoes

Guatemala volcanoes geology field trip travel Antigua Panajachel Pacaya Fuego Agua Atitlan copyright
See Pacaya, Fuego, and Atitlan in this incredibly active volcanic chain!

Central Salmon River, Idaho in Autumn

Central Salmon River, Idaho: Autumn

From Stanley to Salmon, Idaho

Salmon River Idaho autumn geology field trip travel copyright

Discover the varied scenery and why I call this America's strangest river!

Upper Salmon River, Idaho: Autumn

Upper Salmon River, Idaho: Autumn

See America's longest undammed river in its Autumnal splendor!

Yosemite Up High

Yosemite Up High

Yosemite National Park as seen from Glacier Point

Yosemite National Park California geology travel field trip Glacier Point copyright

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley

Glaciated igneous bedrock in a massive uplift - geology doesn't get better than this!

Yosemite National Park valley geology field trip glacier granite Sierra Nevada California copyright

Medicine Wheel, Wyoming

Medicine Wheel, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

Visit the millennia-old, mystical religious site 9600 feet up in the Bighorn Mountains

Medicine Wheel historic site Wyoming Bighorn Mountains copyright

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Visit this highly under-rated active volcano in northern California!

Lassen Volcanic National Park Cascades volcano California eruption disaster lava hiking geology travel field trip photography copyright

Mt. Rainier: Sunrise

Mt. Rainier: Sunrise

You've got to see the big volcano's east side! Visit Sunrise on the park's highest road.

Rainier National Park volcano glaciers geology travel field trip landscape photography adventure explore discover copyright
The sun rises on Mt. Rainier.

20 Awesome Geological Places, Idaho & Montana

20 (or so ) Awesome Places in Idaho and Montana

Sometimes the places I explore don't fit into one particular field trip, so I put them into a post like this. Enjoy!

Eastern Idaho

Idaho Montana Pioneer Mountains Hebgen Lake Yellowstone Island Park Big Spring Lemhi Beaverhead geology travel trip copyright
The Snake River where it enters its namesake Snake River Plain in eastern Idaho. The river here is a hybrid braided and meandering -- meandering because of the low topography, and braided because of its seasonal heavy sediment load. The current is fast enough for terrific fishing and boating, but slow enough to be easy. Location: between Rigby and Ririe, Idaho.

Random Cool Geologic Sites, Western U.S.

Cool Geologic Sites, Western U.S.

This is another collection of photos of great geologic sites that don't fit into other field trips. This collection is from Montana, Oregon, Washington, and California.

geology travel trips Montana Oregon Washington California landscape photos copyright

Vaiont Dam Disaster, Italy

Vaiont Dam, Dolomite Mountains, Italy

This landslide pushed a reservoir over Europe's tallest dam and killed over 2000 people in 1963. 

Vaiont dam landslide disaster Italy 1963 flood geology travel trip tour copyright

Burgess Shale, B.C.

Burgess Shale, Yoho National Park, British Columbia

Visit the world's most important fossil quarry!

Burgess shale yoho national park british columbia canada geology travel trip fossils hike mountains rockies copyright

20 Cool Geology Photos, U.S. West Coast

20 Cool Geology Photos

Mostly on the U.S. West Coast

Some of the pictures I take while traveling don't fit neatly into distinct field trips, so I'll group them into posts like this. They still tell the fascinating story behind the scenery!



Belize Central America geology travel trip tour reef karst caves ocean coral copyright
Belize is home to the largest reef in the northern hemisphere! It's an inexpensive, friendly subtropical paradise - and they even speak English, so what are you waiting for? We'll explore the reef, float through an underground river, and visit a unique jungle zoo.

25 Random Scenic Geology and Landscape Photos

25 (or so) Random Scenic Geology and Landscape Photos

A curious traveler at 10,100 feet in the Lemhi Mountains of central Idaho. The high slopes and valleys were glaciated in the last ice age.

Wherever I travel, I take a lot of pictures. Not all of them fit into any particular field trip, so it occurred to me to post them in a "trip" of their own!

Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho

Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho

Craters of the Moon National Monument Idaho geology travel trip outdoors volcano volcanic Yellowstone lava basalt fieldtrip vacation destination ©
Visit America's best preserved volcanic features at Craters of the Moon National Monument in the middle of Idaho -- cinder cones, spatter cones, fissures, tree molds, pahoehoe and a'a lava flows, and of course awesome lava tubes! There's something for everyone!

Mt. Etna, Sicily

Mt. Etna Volcano, Sicily, Italy

Mt. Etna volcano Sicily Italy Catania lava eruption history ©
Visit Europe's highest and most active volcano, Etna on the island of Sicily. And see how the people of Catania have lived with their lava-spewing neighbor for more than two millennia!

Yellowstone SW, Early Spring

Yellowstone SW, Early Spring

Madison River, Firehole River, Grand Prismatic Spring, Old Faithful

Yellowstone National Park Wyoming Idaho Montana geology travel field trip bison buffalo elk river old faithful geyser copyright
Come see Yellowstone like few see it - in early Spring before the grass turns green, before the animals completely lose their winter coats, and before the crowds arrive. This trip covers southwestern Yellowstone from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains and the National Park, Texas and New Mexico

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Texas New Mexico McKittrick Canyon Queen Plateau Permian reef trail hiking fossils desert canyon copyright
Visit the best preserved ancient reef on Earth!

Carlsbad Caverns part 2

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Part 2

Carlsbad Caverns National Park geology travel trip explore caves New Mexico geologist nature adventure science education copyright
These stalactite blades are just fascinating! When I was a boy I pictured what it would be like to be here in an earthquake. Chop! Chop! 

Carlsbad Caverns part 1

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns National Park New Mexico caves geology reef spelunking explore travel trip copyright
Explore this giant cavern network that developed in an ancient reef!

Cody, Wyoming

Cody, Wyoming

Yellowstone Region: East Entrance

Cody Wyoming geology travel field trip folding anticline great unconformity Heart Mountain detachment Yellowstone Absaroka volcanic copyright

Explore spectacular folded mountain ranges and one of Earth's biggest prehistoric landslides!

Salmon River, Idaho, Early Spring

Salmon River, Idaho

Early Spring

Salmon River Idaho geology travel field trip photography Spring snow mountains outdoors nature hiking camping copyright
Tour North America's longest undammed river, the Salmon in Idaho, from its headwaters to the canyon where Lewis and Clark had to give up and turn around. In this trip, we'll see it in early Spring when the snow has just melted off the lower valleys but still caps the peaks. I'll take you there in Summer and Fall in later trips.

Buffington Window, Nevada

Buffington Window, Nevada

Buffington pocket Clark County Nevada Valley of Fire Muddy Mountains thrust belt Jurassic Cambrian geology travel field trip copyright
Explore this scenic geologic wonder just 32 miles NE of Las Vegas, Nevada, next to Valley of Fire State Park.

Mexico City

Mexico City

A Geologic Perspective

See what happens when you build a city on a lake and pump out the water!

Mexico City subsidence geology travel trip fieldtrip history archaeology ©

Venice Part 2

Venice Subsidence and Flood Control

Venice Italy island subsidence flood control Mose project geology science nature explore adventure Europe travel trip copyright
As one of the world's most beautiful and historically important cities, Venice is certainly worth saving.  What is being done, and at what cost?


Venice, Italy

Venice Italy geology travel trip bucketlist subsidence geologist science history photography mose copyright
Isn't it about time you checked this one off your bucket list?  Visit Venice, Italy and see how one of the world's most beautiful and historic cities lives with subsidence and perilously high tides.

Banff Part 2

Banff National Park, part 2

This place will exhaust your vocabulary!

banff national park geology trip travel roadtrip geologist glacier lake mountains rocks © hiking Canada

Banff Part 1

Banff National Park, part 1

banff national park geology trip travel roadtrip geologist glacier lake mountains rocks

When you visit Banff National Park bring a thesaurus, or you'll run out of synonyms for "WOW!"

Banff South

Kananaskis Trail, Highway 40

lewis thrust banff canada alberta geology fold
In addition to having some of the best mountain scenery in North America, the Kananaskis Trail (highway 40) south of Banff is a Mecca for geologists.  Take a road trip to see this world-class scenery through the eyes of a Geologist!

The San Andreas, San Francisco Area

San Andreas Fault, San Francisco Area

Take a day trip to see California's most famous geologic feature in the San Francisco area!



photo by
I didn't expect it to, but visiting Pompeii affected me deeply.  I don't look at ancient calamities the same way any more.

The Frank Slide, Alberta

The Frank Slide, Alberta

geology travel landslide alberta canada fieldtrip
Come see one of the biggest and most accessible avalanches anywhere -- the Frank Slide in Alberta.  It even has its own visitor center!

Upcoming Field Trips

Lemhi Mountains, Idaho

Upcoming posts in 2019-2020 will include:

More about Yellowstone and its neighborhood (several trips)
The Alps of Switzerland (several trips)
Geology of The Matterhorn
Geology of Germany's Rhine River
In the Footsteps of William Smith - Geology of England
Geologic sites in England
Geologic sites in Scotland
Newberry Caldera 
Donner Pass
Bryce Canyon National Park
the Wasatch Front, Utah
Wind River Mtns Wyoming
The Sinks State Park, Wyoming
Hamilton Dome, Montana
... and more!

Pompeii, Italy

Tidbits to Wet Your Appetite:

  • Some of the best things to visit at Yellowstone are outside the park -- I'll show you!
  • The Cascades volcanoes are a lot more dangerous than they look.  It is nearly certain that you will see another eruption or two there during your lifetime.
  • There is a chunk of oceanic crust and mantle sitting along the Smith River in northern California!
  • The lower half of The Matterhorn in Switzerland is oceanic crust.
  • You won't believe how close homes and businesses are to the San Andreas on the San Francisco peninsula!
  • Much of the Coast Ranges of California originated in an ancient subduction zone, where the ocean floor was scraped off and plastered onto the continent.  No wonder there are so many landslides!
  • One of California's biggest earthquakes was not on the San Andreas -- it was on the east side of the Sierra Nevada in Owens Valley.
  • Death Valley is a hole that is literally still opening in the earth's crust.
  • Near Las Vegas, you can walk on ancient thrust faults that shoved the continental shelf up onto the continent.
  • The topography at St. George, Utah is inverted -- what was low is high, and what was high is low.
  • The Popo Agie River at Lander, Wyoming, does a 360 degree loop and disappears under the canyon, only to reappear a quarter mile farther down the canyon.
  • Fremont Lake on the western Wind River Mountains was formed by a glacier more than 1800 feet thick.
  • The best caldera to see at Yellowstone is outside the park at Island Park, Idaho.
  • In the Beaverhead, Lemhi, and Lost River mountains, Idaho, the ancient continental shelf was folded like an accordion and shoved onto the continent.  The folds are spectacular!
Trail to the Burgess Shale, British Columbia

Calaveras Fault at Hollister, California

Calaveras Fault at Hollister, California

calaveras fault hollister california geology travel sanandreas fault earthquake hazards
(Above) The Calaveras fault, a branch of the San Andreas, creeps through Hollister, displacing everything in its path.

Yellowstone Region: Island Park and Mesa Falls, Idaho

Yellowstone Region -- Island Park and Mesa Falls, Idaho

mesa falls island park yellowstone idaho geology travel fieldtrip
Some of the best things to see at Yellowstone -- especially Geology -- are just outside of the park.

Crater Lake

Crater Lake National Park

"crater lake" caldera volcano cascades Oregon geology travel fieldtrip trip awesome beautiful gorgeous photography
Go see the world's most beautiful caldera, Crater Lake, Oregon!

Rainier: Paradise

Mt. Rainier -- Paradise

Rainier Cascades Washington geology fieldtrip travel trip scenery beautiful gorgeous awesome photography volcano glacier hazards
At 14,409 feet, Mt. Rainier has more glaciers on it than any other mountain in the continental U.S.
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