June 16 Geology Field Trip at Point Whitehorn, Whatcom County

beach at Point Whitehorn mark

Glacial erratics litter the beach at Point Whitehorn.

I will lead a field trip at Point Whitehorn on Saturday June 16 starting at 12:30. The Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve is a Whatcom County park, managed by the Park District. The Whatcom Land Trust has an oversight role under a conservation easement. The event on June 16, “What’s the Point” is organized by the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee, and supported by the Koma Kulshan chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society, the Land Trust, the Marine Resources Committee, the Audubon Society, Whole Foods and others. The Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve is one of eight on Department of Natural Resources aquatic lands. Read my post about Point Whitehorn from a few years ago.

The field trip will be on the beach and examines beautiful and varied erratics and the glacial deposits in the bluff. I will talk about Ice Age glacial advance and retreat in the Salish lowland, coastal bluff erosion [very dramatic here], and post-glaciation events that have shaped the landscape. The presentation lasts around 1 hour.

We will begin at 12:30, ON THE BEACH. There is a 3/4 mile flat trail through the forest the beach. Arrive at the parking lot by 11:30 and visit the info booths there. That leaves time to stroll to the beach to enjoy the views and poke around. Bring water, sun or rain protection.

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. Finally the trail switchbacks 75′ down to the cobble beach.

kids at Point Whitehorn mark

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

Organizations expected include: · Whatcom Land Trust · Marine Life Center (shell identification table on beach) · Marine Mammal Stranding Network (furs and skulls touch table) · Whatcom Conservation District (watershed model in trailer. http://www.whatcomcd.org/explorer) · Whatcom Marine Resources Committee · North Cascades Audubon Society · Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizens’ Stewardship Committee · Surfrider, RE-Sources · DNR and Puget Sound Corps

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2 Responses

  1. Credit where credit is due: the Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve is a Whatcom County park, managed by the Park District. The Land Trust has an oversight role under a conservation easement. The event on June 16, “What’s the Point” is organized by the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee, and supported by the Koma Kulshan chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society, MBVRC, the Land Trust, the Marine Resources Committee, the Audubon Society, Whole Foods and others. The Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve is one of eight on Department of Natural Resources aquatic lands.

    • John,
      Many thanks for this information. I update the post with your info more or less verbatim. I was unaware of the details; the Land Trust has always made the field trip arrangements with me.

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