This page lists field trips in various geographical categories, so you can find trips that are near each other. The list is updated whenever a new trip is added to the website.

A primer on the UTM geographic coordinate system used on this website is here.

Lower Mainland of British Columbia:

Vancouver Island

Bellingham, Chuckanut, and Whatcom/Skagit County Lowlands and foothills:

San Juan Islands

Mount Baker Highway, Nooksack River

Middle Fork Nooksack River

Skagit River Valley & Highway 20

Baker River valley

Whidbey Island

Olympic Peninsula

Seattle-Everett area

Southwest Washington

12 Responses

  1. I am teaching Earth Science in Peru. Before Peru was China and before China was Egypt. I teach in 3rd world countries because I believe everyone deserves a quality education and that education is the only thing that will ensure peace.

    I want to take a field course this summer/Winter for you guys in NA. Can you suggest any that will include the geology of Oregon?



    • Ann,
      Can any readers help Ann with her question about geology field programs in Oregon? I’m only aware of University-level field classes.
      Ann, I commend your perspective- science ed encourages critical thinking which is a real plus for eventual peaceful relationships between people and governments.

  2. PS: I’ver got another question.
    About 20 years ago when I lived in Oregon, I traveled by train to Seattle. The train passed a area of ground with lots of odd little mounds. What were those mounds and what process formed them?

    They are not praire dog mounds, nor are they termite mounds, of that I’m sure!



    • Ann,
      These must be the famous Mima Mounds. Their origin is still a geo-puzzle. You can find out a lot on the internet; as alway, take that info with a large shovel full of salt.
      I am writing a book about Western Washington geology site [Geology Underfoot in Western Washington] and it will include a chapter on these mounds. I don’t solve the problem, but wil speculate on the various ideas, which seem reasonable, which [such as giant gophers or Indian burial mounds] are baloney.
      tuckerd at geol dot wwu dot edu

  3. Im interested in geology of clark and skamania counties, can any body help me with past field trips or written material?

    • Lowell,
      Your best bet would be to find volumes of the Geological Society of America’s
      variious field trip guides, which conceivably have trip sin the areas of
      interest when there is a meeting in Seattle-Portland area. The 2009 volume has
      several trips to see Columbia River basalt along the stretch of the river
      between Cascade Locks and Astoria, I was on one of those trips. A local
      library might have the guide. They are not available on line, since GSA sells
      these guidebooks. Check their website.
      If you do a web search for Bonneville Landslide or Beacon Rock, I’m pretty
      sure you’d come up with some online guides, I did that once. Try similar
      searches: geology of Columbia River Gorge for instance. Check out the page on
      my website, “Geology Guidebooks”, I list a few that might be of interest. One
      of those books, “Hiking Washington’s Geology”, I know has trips in your area.
      The book I’m writing will have guided trips to Bonneville Landslide, Beacon
      Rock, Cape Disappointment, Ape Cave, and the Mima Mounds, all in your area.

      Dave Tucker
      Adjunct, Department of Geology
      Western Washington University
      Board Member, Mount Baker Volcano Research Center:
      Mount Baker Volcano Research Center subscription site:
      My website is Northwest Geology Field Trips:

  4. Ann
    Check out Portland State University. Dr Scott Burns

    University of Oregon: Dr William Orr


  5. So happy to have found this site – I’m more of a plants & birds person, but am often curious about the rocks I see. Now I have a great source – bookmarked!

  6. where would be a good place to see the “black mat layer” in washington.

    this is the black sediment from and event related (possibly) to the onsought of the Younger dryas

    • Jesse,
      First I have heard of this. Quick research comes up with this website: Figure 1 shows known locations of the transition from Pleistocene to Holocene; note that a ‘black mat’ [i.e. soil horizon] is not present at the one site known in Washington. There are Sumas tills in western Whatcom County, but I haven’t heard about any distinct soil layers at their base.

  7. Is there anything like this for the columbia river gorge?

    • Diane, Not that I know of on the web. There are two gorge field trips in my book,

        Geology Underfoot in Western Washington

      : Beacon Rock, and the Bonneville Landslide/’Bridge of the gods’ story. Dave Tucker

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