NO guided geology hike at Larrabee’s ROCK TRAIL this Saturday

You may have heard that I will be leading a geology field trip at this Saturday’s dedication of the new Rock Trail at Larrabee State Park. This is out-dated information. The trip was intended as a fund raiser for the Chuckanut Conservancy and WTA, in recognition of their efforts to bring this fabulous trail to reality. In the midst of planning, and despite several emails between me, CC and WTA organizers and park interpreters, the Larrabee State Park chief informed us that no fundraisers were permitted. So, I never organized the field trip, and will not be present. Apparently the Washington State Parks publicity machine never got that news from Larrabee’s manager.

Please go to the 10 AM dedication if you wish, and hike the trail. Print out a copy of the geology trip guide posted here using these instructions for efficient printing.

Geology of the Rock Trail, Larrabee State Park

Tafoni Wall, striped by tree shadows, is a highlight of the Rock Trail.

Tafoni Wall, striped by tree shadows, is a highlight of the Rock Trail.

I have posted a geology guide to Larrabee State Park’s new Rock Trail. Read the full guide here on the Northwest Geology Field Trips website. The out-and-back hike is just short of 2 miles, and the cliff exposures are perhaps the best in the Chuckanuts. The trail, built by prodigious efforts of over 100 volunteers, was profiled in the Bellingham Herald in February.


Red line marks the new Rock Trail. Contour interval is 20'. Note scale in lower left.

Red line marks the new Rock Trail. Contour interval is 20′. Note scale in lower left.

April 12th guided field trip: three seats left!

Mount Erie from the south.

Mount Erie from the south. We’ll learn about the oceanic intrusions that comprise this rocky hill, as well as much else. Clcik to enlarge.

There are three seats available for this Saturday’s guided geology field trip [April 12] to learn about glacial deposits on northern Whidbey Island, and ophiolite on Fidalgo Island. The trip is a fund raiser for Mount Baker Volcano Research Center,. Cost is $75, includes transport. Full details are found here. The trip is led by WWU geology professor Scott Babcock.

Calling citizen scientists: Cascade snow survey

Susan Dickerson-Lange (WWU alum) is working toward a PhD at the University of Washington involving snow hydrology and would like your help. Read below.


Are you planning any mountain adventures this spring and summer?  We are looking for help from outdoor enthusiasts to collect snow observations as the snowpack melts across the Pacific Northwest.

We need on-the-ground observations of snow presence in forested and open areas, and are looking for hikers, skiers, snowmobilers, and mountaineers to contribute.

Simply take geotagged photos of snow (or no snow) in adjacent forested and open areas and send them to:

…or submit written observations via an online or paper form.

For information, including about geotagging, and a short training video:

Please spread the word, and contact me if you have any questions or ideas!




Susan Dickerson-Lange

Mobile:  (253) 225-9909

Twitter:  @SDickersonLange

Ph.D. Student, University of Washington

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Mountain Hydrology Lab

Stillaguamish is flowing again.

Dan McShane has been keeping an eye on the river gage on the Stilliguamish below the landslide. His latest post shows that the river is no longer backing up behind the landslide dam. Dan includes a graph from the river gage. I’ve copied his screen capture below- click to enlarge. You can see that discharge [= flow measured in cubic feet per second] dropped instantaneously just after noon on 3/22, from 2000 cfs to 900, and continued to decline down to 700 cfs until Sunday at around 3 PM.  Then the level of the impounded river had risen enough to begin overtopping the low point on the slide surface and began to flow downstream again. The last data point on the graph is from Monday at about 6 PM, and flow seems to have stabilized. You can track the discharge yourself at the gage website.

Stilliguamish gage data. Click to enlarge.

Stilliguamish gage data. Click to enlarge.

Stillaguamish Landslide- Geologic Perspectives

Interpretation of landslide scarp on LiDAR image, by Dan McShane.

Interpretation of landslide scarp on LiDAR image, by Dan McShane. Click to enlarge.

Dan McShane has written some geologic perspectives about Saturday’s landslide into the Stillaguamish River. Dan is a consulting geologist based in Bellingham and author of ‘Washington Landscapes’ blog, and has some great insights into the geology and history of the slide area. Rather than trying to rewrite his excellent reports, I’ll just provide the links. It is not the first landslide in this location. In my view, it  is a tragedy that people are permitted to live in this location.


Dan’s Initial report:

Geologic background:

LiDAR images and slide history.

Stay tuned for more posts from Dan. Consider subscribing to his blog.


Fidalgo ophiolite field trip, Part II- Mount Erie

Gabbro at Stop 1. Note the pale vertical dikes near the yellow hammer. Click any image to enlarge.

Gabbro at Stop 1. Note the pale vertical dikes near the yellow hammer. Click any image to enlarge.

A self-guided geology field trip to the second part of the Fidalgo ophiolite (oceanic crust section) is posted here. This field trip visits intrusive and sedimentary rocks on Fidalgo Island, including Mount Erie. This is the second installment in the ophiolite series, which started at the chunk of the mantle at Washington Park.

The April 12th guided geology field trip sponsored by Mount Baker Volcano Research Center will visit some of these rocks. Registration information is on the MBVRC website. If you have been waffling, time to be decisive- the trip is nearly full!

The view south from Stop 2 at Mount Erie.

The view south from Stop 2 at Mount Erie. Here we see an island in Lake Campbell, on Fidalgo Island. Skagit Bay stretches off to the south.


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