• Your EMAIL ADDRESS is never used for ANY purpose except to send you updates. EVER!!!!!!

    Join 1,087 other followers

  • MOUNT BAKER: Eruptive history, hazards, research.

    Visit Mount Baker Volcano Research Center websites Main website and the blog
  • Most recent posts

  • This website first appeared December 6, 2009

    • 699,368 hits
  • Feel free to use the material on these pages.

    Creative Commons License
    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 field guide to the Blue Lake Trail, Washington Pass area.

As promised, I just published a geology guide to the Blue Lake Trail. Find it here. This is a deservedly popular hike off Highway 20 near Washington Pass. It skirts below the pointy crags of Liberty Bell and the Early Winters Spires, composed of a true granite- a very unusual rock in the North Cascades. But there is also some other cool geology at Blue Lake. Go to the page, read up, and get set for a gorgeous 4.4 mile round trip geo-trip. It’s a pretty easy hike. Really. And maybe a swim. (Geeez, but the water is so cold. Or so I hear. I, of course, wouldn’t think of swimming in that lake.)

P1080890 rsz mark

The Liberty Bell and Early Winters peaks east of Blue Lake.

New geology field trip coming soon!

P1080890 rsz mark


Dear friends.

It has been a long time. Thanks for your patience during my break from blog posting. I will soon publish a new self-guided geology field trip on this website to the Blue Lake trail, near Washington Pass.  Stay tuned!





Please note I have a new email for my readers:DaveTuckersblogs at gmail 25 percent

You can always leave a comment on the webpage, and I will get around to responding when I can.

Thanks, Dave Tucker

Racehorse Fossil Fields- NEW UPDATE

P1040709 rsz mark

Eocene leaf fossil at Racehorse landslide fossil fields.

Thanks to subscriber Craig O for a detailed update on access to the fossil fields east of Bellingham. Craig visited Racehorse Fossil Fields with a church youth group on July 21. For the second time this summer I have significantly updated the access directions on the field trip page. This is the place where we found the giant bird footprints left 50 million years ago by the 8-foot-tall flightless bird Diatryma giganteus after the 2009 Racehorse Creek landslide. Please keep me updated, and remember to send me photos of things you find or of the trail conditions. Craig says that the fossils remain abundant, that the 9-14 year old kids easily managed the hike in, and that the hike in is pretty easy to follow.


Racehorse Fossil Fields- UPDATE

Fossil fields map 2018

If you continue driving beyond the 5.1 mile point, you will reach the infamous red gate and have driven a mile too far.

I drove up the road to the Racehorse Creek Fossil Fields in the North Fork Nooksack today. It is evident from comments from many readers that they have been going the wrong way. Many went too far and came to a locked red gate; those folks missed the white ‘1’ on the tree just 1 mile after the turn at Racehorse Creek. The revised directions are in the edited original blog post. So if you struggled mightily and walked [or biked] for miles on gravel roads beyond the gate- go back! It is only 1 mile of road walking to get to the start of the fossil fields. If you visit, send photos of your finds and report on the conditions.


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

Thanks for subscribing!

A big flood of new subscribers has occurred in the past couple of months. I am not sure what the impetus is but thanks for signing up!

This is a collaborative website. If you come across a good geology trip or a place worth sharing with others that is not already posted, drop me a comment and I’ll get back to you. If you have photos, so much the better!

I will try to post a new field trip for you soon. I am running short of places within a couple hours or so from Bellingham [my home] so I will need to range a bit farther afield. In the meantime, the new folks should browse the field trips I offer and get outside! There are a lot of handy tips and links on the website so be sure to check them out. I hiked the Rock Trail today in the Chuckanuts south of Bellingham and it is a great geology trip, as always.



Book talk- Geology Underfoot in Western Washington

GUWW cover

Next book presentation by Dave Tucker*:

Camano Island Library

Saturday, April 21: 10:00am – 12:00pm

848 N. Sunrise Blvd., Camano Island, WA 98282

Directions here.

*Yes, alive and well.