Geologic hike on Sumas Mountain, Whatcom County: real geology and a mining hoax

Doug McKeever at the rusted ore cart and the infamous ‘gold vault’ from perhaps the biggest mining scam in the region. Photo courtesy Eric Rolfs.

Hey, take me straight to the field trip!

No, I haven’t finished my book. Time away from the keyboard is important, so what do I do? Go for a hike up Sumas Mountain, come home and write about the geology! I have had this field trip in my head for a while, and needed to share it. I did the hike back in early April with Doug McKeever and Eric Rolfs, but didn’t have my camera, so returned with Scott Linneman May 28. Click here to read the story of an audacious early 19th Century mining scam, and to learn about the geology on this short hike. You’ll also find a rare bonus- an exposure of the basal contact of the Chuckanut Formation, where it overlies the serpentinized ultramafite of Sumas Mountain.

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One Response

  1. When I went to the area around 1985 you could still access 2 of the adits. The lower one had about 2 feet of water in it but the upper one was dry. The only mineralization was a little bit of melanterite evolving from the small amounts of iron sulphide in the tunnel walls. It is a nice hike. There were 2 cabins nearby. The one lower on the ridge was being used by the local boy scout troop. The scammers must have lived pretty good after they fled the area.

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