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    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
    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.

    EDUCATORS: Please feel free to use anything you find here that is useful to your mission educating people about Earth science. E-mail me if it would help to have a larger or higher-resolution version of any of the images. tuckerd at geol dot wwu dot edu

Geology guide to Fragrance Lake Trail (Larrabee State Park)

The Christmas Girls had just finished decorating all the sign posts as I pulled into the parking lot. Very festive! Click to enlarge.

The Christmas Girls had just finished decorating all the sign posts as I pulled into the parking lot. Very festive! Click to enlarge.

I’ve written up a geology guide to the popular Fragrance Lake trail. You’ll find it here. Even if the hike is mostly in glacial till, there are interesting stones in it, and the Chuckanut cliffs are always worth a peak. I do some armwaving about the origin of the big cliffs above the lake, too.

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.

Virtual field trip to Raptor Ridge geology posted

Looking south from Raptor Ridge. Two unrelated types of eroded grooves cut deeply into the soft sandstone. Click to enlarge.

I’m thankful to the forces of nature that present us with such a wealth of fine places to see geology and the scenery that goes with it. In that spirit, I wrote a guide to geology on the hike to Raptor Ridge in the Chuckanut Mountains, south of Bellingham. There are some rock cliffs, two different styles of eroded grooves eroded in the rock, two erratics, a water fall, and pervasively weathered Chuckanut sandstone. All this is capped with a fine view at the top. Click here to read the guide. It is a nice winter hike, unless there is too much snow. But then, it becomes a really great cross-country ski trip! Just the thing, either way to work off some Thanksgiving over eating. See you on the trail!

Dave

Geology at Teddy Bear Cove, Whatcom County

Adena Mooers points to the sharp facies change from sandstone to conglomerate at Teddy Bear Cove. Click to enlarge any image.

Teddy Bear Cove has shoreline exposures of west-dipping Chuckanut Formation conglomerate, and  a couple of nice swimming beaches. It is a Whatcom County Park on Chuckanut Bay reached by a short trail from Chuckanut Drive.

Click here to go to the full page.

Geology basics- a new page on the website

By popular request, I’ve begun a new page on the website, GEOLOGY BASICS, accessed from a tab at the top of each page. I’ll try not to turn this into a textbook-length effort. The first explanation has been added, which discusses the concepts of strike and dip of sedimentary layers, with illustrations and links to trips where you can see good examples.

I’ll add to this page sporadically. If I gloss over a concept in a posted field trip that you think deserves inclusion in these primers, send a comment and I’ll see what I can do.

Take me to the new page!

DT

Ribbed microtopography at West Beach, Lummi Island

Ribbed microtopography at West Beach. Looking south toward Village Point.

Take advantage of the fine weather and ride your bike across Lummi Island to beautiful West Beach facing Rosario Strait. There you’ll find a lovely cobble beach and fine examples of alternating sandstone and conglomerate beds in steeping dipping rocks of the Chuckanut Formation.

Take your swimsuit- or don’t!

Go to the West Beach page.