Tentative geology road trip/hikes to Southwest, March 2016

Photo of Mesa Arch

Katie and Ada and I had a great trip through the Southwest earlier this summer, and we’re thinking of doing a similar trip with our SF Bay Area Geology and Natural Sciences Hiking Group. The trip would run nine days, from Saturday, March 26th (early departure) through Sunday, April 3rd (late return), 2016.

Unfortunately, this trip requires a lot of driving (about 2,200 miles), but will include some amazing sites. The three full-day visits (with no real driving) will be Canyonlands and Arches National Parks (near Moab, Utah; one day in each park), and one day at the Grand Canyon.

Along the way, we’ll have short visits to:

  1. Berlin-Ichthysoraus State Park (in Nevada)
  2. Great Basin National Park (Nevada, hopefully a tour of the Grand Palace cave).
  3. A drive through Monument Valley in Navajo Land in Arizona
  4. Petrified dinosaur tracks in Arizona.
  5. Overnight at the CSU Desert Studies Center in Zzyzx, CA.

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Faulting at Devils Slide

Strata at Devils Slide

The opening of the tunnel around Devil’s Slide in San Mateo County allowed for the creation of a mile-long trek to look at some of California’s fascinating geology. In my last geology hike to the trail, I took a photo of the great sedimentary layers at the north end of the trail, then edited the photo to show how well the strata line up on each side of a fault through the sediments. Mouse over the image below to see the image of the current conditions of the strata.

Imagine the strata lined up like this years ago. The red arrow shows the relative motion of the rocks between "then" and now.Hover your mouse over the image to see the current condition of the strata.

After faulting


After pressure and faulting, the strata now looks like this. Slide your mouse back and forth over the image to see the change.

The video below includes a great description of the geology of the area. Click on the “Sedimentary Layers” link to see the main section on the geology.

More resources on the geology of Devil’s Slide: