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    Northwest Geology Field Trips, by Dave Tucker, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial- Share Alike 3.0 United States License. You can use what you find here, repost it with attribution to the author, "remix" it for your own purposes, but may not use it with the intent of making money off of it.

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Guided Geology Field trip to Point Whitehorn, Whatcom County

Looking south at the Point Whitehorn Reserve beach. The erratic in the foreground looks like Jackass Mountain conglomerate. Rock from this formation gets around!

Looking south at the Point Whitehorn Reserve beach. The erratic in the foreground looks like Jackass Mountain conglomerate. Rocks from this formation get around!

I will be leading two geology walks along the cobble beach and shoreline bluffs at Point Whitehorn in Whatcom County.

Saturday, June 6   1 p.m. and 3 p.m. [the same walk, twice].

Highlights: Erratic boulders, lag deposits as coastal bluffs erode; glacial strata in bluffs. We will look for marine shells in the glacial deposits, to determine if this is a submarine deposit.  See a virtual field trip posted on Northwest Geology Field Trips website.

Getting there: From I-5 Exit 266, drive west on Grandview Road 8.5 miles.  Follow the road as it curves left and becomes Koehn Road. Continue 0.5 miles to a parking area on the left. There is a 3/4 mile accessible trail through lowland forest, including a sizable (by modern standards) grove of large spruce, to overlooks atop the bluffs, with nice polished dunite benches. The trail then switchbacks 75′ down to the cobble beach. MEET ON THE BEACH FOR THE FIELD TRIP

Glacial erratics litter the beach at Point Whitehorn.

Glacial erratics litter the beach at Point Whitehorn.

This is all part of the Whatcom Land Trust and the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee event titled “What’s the Point?” from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 6, at Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve, part of the larger Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. A negative tide will allow for intertidal zone exploration in an extraordinary stretch of shoreline teeming with wildlife.

Kids will enjoy the hunt for shell fossils at Point Whitehorn's glacial deposits. No guarantees!

Kids will enjoy the hunt for shell fossils at Point Whitehorn’s glacial deposits. No guarantees!

Naturalists with North Cascades Audubon Society, Koma Kulshan Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society and more will be stationed along the wooded wetland trail. Marine life specialists will be on the beach providing information about plants and animals in the reserve’s intertidal zone.

Here are some details about the event:

-The event runs from noon-4 p.m. Low tide is at approximately 2:30 p.m. We are asking naturalists to please arrive at 11 a.m. or shortly thereafter. There is plenty of parking but please consider carpooling! We heard from County Parks that there can be up to 200 people on any given Saturday in June.

-We will be providing a “species checklist” for kids to bring along the trail.

-We will have informational booths in the parking lot, and will also be handing out Pt. Whitehorn stickers and a limited supply of chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches donated by Acme Ice Cream. (Plus popsicles for non-dairy folks.) There will also be a water jug and a handwashing station available.


Dave Tucker, geology

-Bob Lemon, intertidal zone

-Lyle Anderson, native plants

-Bert and Sue Webber, marine biology

-Pam Borso, Audubon

-Paul Woodcock, Audubon (will arrive around 1 p.m.)

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