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California Geotour Logo

An Index to Online Geologic Field Trip
Guides of California

The traveler can experience a "...myriad of scenic wonders lying within California's boundaries, wherein is perhaps the most remarkable collection of natural masterpieces to be found in any state of the Union."
Norman E.A. Hinds
California Divsion of Mines Bulletin 158, 1952

Introduction

The California Geotour is an interactive index of Web pages of geologic field trip guides and related Web sites compiled by the California Geological Survey (CGS) for the benefit of all who have wondered about California's geologic features. We have listed Web pages that contain geologic information, including photographs, maps, text and directions for local natural features throughout the state. The Web pages have been developed by government agencies, geological organizations, professors, students, commercial enterprises, park districts, environmental groups, and those with a keen interest in the earth sciences.

The California Geotour index is organized by regions collectively named  the Geomorphic Provinces of California. The geologic field trip guides are further grouped into general areas within each province. (Example: Basin and Range Province \  Death Valley Area). These areas are listed in geographical order from north to south within each geomorphic province.

We welcome your input and comments about the California Geotour.  We may have inadvertently overlooked some interesting Web pages. If you would like to recommend other California geology related Web sites for this index, please contact the CGS Webmaster.

Begin The California Geotour

  California Geomorphic Provinces Index Map
To Online Geologic Field Trip Guides

California Geomorphic Provinces are distinctive, generally easy to recognize natural regions in which the geologic record, types of landforms, pattern of landscape features, and climate in all parts are similar. For example, the alpine features of the Sierra Nevada greatly distinguish that geomorphic province from the subdued relief on the valley floor of the Great Valley Province. If you would like more information about the geomorphic provinces, please see CGS Note 36, "California Geomorphic Provinces", which provides a comprehensive  description of each of the regions. Click on a province name from the list or a map area below to view online geologic field trips from that province.

Basin and Range : Cascade Range : Coast Ranges : Colorado Desert
Great Valley : Klamath Mountains : Modoc Plateau : Mojave Desert
Peninsular Ranges : Sierra Nevada : Transverse Ranges

(Note: CGS is not responsible for the content of any "off-site" Web page referenced from our Web site.)

Basin and Range

 

Owens Valley, Eastern Sierra, Inyo/White Mountains
A Visit to the Fossil Beds at Union Wash - Inyo
Ammonoids at Union Wash, California – Inyo
A Field Trip to Owens Valley/Mammoth Lakes – Jessey/CSU Pomona
Fossil Falls – Shallow Sky
Guidebook for Field Trip to PreCambrian-Cambrian Succession White-Inyo Mountains, CA (PDF) – Nelson
High Inyo Mountains Fossils – Inyo
Independence Dikes and Mafic Rocks of the Eastern Sierra – Carl/GSA
Field Trip to the White-Inyo Range, Eastern California – Ernst/PGS
White Mountains – L. Miller
Aerial Geology Tour of Eastern California - Glazner/UNC
Mono Lake – The American Southwest
Owens (Dry) Lake, CA: A Human-Induced Dust Problem - USGS
Roadside Geology and Mining History Owens Valley and Mono Basin (pdf/14.7MB) – Wilkerson/BLM

Coso Range
Fossil Bones in the Coso Range – Inyo
Coso Volcanic Field – Volcano Hazards Program/USGS

Death Valley Area
Cal Poly Geology Club Death Valley Field Trip (pdf) – Tarman/Pomona
Death Valley National Park – National Park Service
Death Valley National Park - Geology Fieldnotes/National Park Service
Death Valley National Park - Exploratorium
Death Valley National Park Virtual Geology Field Trip – USGS
Death Valley National Park - 3D Geology/USGS
Death Valley National Park Geology Image Gallery – USGS
Quaternary and Late Pliocene Geology of the Death Valley Region - FOP/USGS
Kettleman Hills and Death Valley - UC Berkeley
A Visit to the Early Cambrian Waucoba Spring Geologic Section, California – Inyo
Fossils in Death Valley National Park  – Inyo
Geologic Features/Death Valley, CA – CDMG (CGS)
Geological Excursion to Death Valley - Columbia University
Geomorphology and tectonics at the intersection of Silurian and Death Valleys  (pdf) - FOP/Miller
Sliding Rocks – Death Valley Racetrack – Wilcox/DesertUSA
Tertiary Extensional Features, Death Valley Region (pdf) – Troxel/GSA
Trilobites in the Nopah Range – Inyo

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Cascade Range

 

 

Mount Shasta
Mount Shasta and Vicinity – USGS
Mount Shasta – 3D Geology/USGS
Geology of Mount Shasta - College of the Siskiyous
Mt. Shasta and Klamath Mtns. – Peninsula Geology Society

Medicine Lake
Medicine Lake Volcano – Volcano Hazards Program/USGS
Lava Beds National Monument – Geology Fieldnotes/National Park Service
Guides to Some Volcanic Terranes in WA, ID, OR, and Northern CA (PDF) – Johnston/USGS

Lassen Park Area
Lassen Volcanic Center – Volcano Hazards Program/USGS
Lassen Peak, National Park – J.S. Woolf
Lassen Volcanic National Park – Geology Fieldnotes/National Park Service
Cliff Lake Trail, Lassen Volcanic National Park – The American Southwest
Lassen Volcanic National Park – The American Southwest
Hat Creek Volcanic Area – The American Southwest

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Coast Ranges

 

 

North Coast
Redwood National Park – Geology Fieldnotes/National Park Service
Geology of the Smith River/Josephine Ophiolite – College of the Redwoods
Geology of Patrick’s Point State Park – College of the Redwoods
Geology of Point Ano Nuevo State Park (pdf) – Weber
Geologic Evolution of the Northernmost Coast Ranges and Western Klamath Mountains (pdf) – Aalto/28th International Geological Congress
Geology of the Humboldt Bay Area – E. Beltz

Sonoma Coast
The Geology of Salt Point State Park – S. Hirschfeld
Shell Beach: A Close look at a Subduction Zone - T. Wright
The Geology of Bodega Head - T. Wright
Sonoma County Geology – T. Wright
Geology of the Franciscan Complex in the Ward Creek-Cazadero Area, Sonoma Co. – Erickson/Cal Geology
Point Arena – The American Southwest

Santa Rosa Area
Sonoma County Geology - T. Wright

Clear Lake Area
Clear Lake Volcanic Field – Volcano Hazards Program/USGS

Pt. Reyes
Point Reyes National Seashore – Geology Fieldnotes/National Park Service
Point Reyes National Seashore – 3D Geology/USGS
Geology at Point Reyes National Seashore and Vicinity (pdf) – USGS
Point Reyes and Marin Headlands (pdf) – SFSU

San Francisco Area
Geology of the Golden Gate Headlands (pdf) – Elder/National Park Service
Geology of CA’s Golden Gate – Marin College
Golden Gate National Recreation Area – 3D Geology/USGS
Golden Gate National Recreation Area – Geology Fieldnotes/National Park Service
Geology and Natural History of the San Francisco Bay Area - NAGT-FWS/USGS
Rocks and Geology in the SF Bay Region – Stoffer/USGS
Guidebook/Field Notebook, San Francisco Coastal Geology Field Class (PDF) – SF City College
The San Andreas Fault and the San Francisco Bay Area - Stanford
San Andreas Fault and Hayward Fault, San Francisco Bay Area – U. Dayton
The San Andreas Fault - USGS
The San Andreas Fault in the San Francisco Bay Area…Selected Stops on Public Lands – USGS
Where’s the San Andreas Fault? SF Bay Region – USGS
Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country – USGS/American Red Cross

East Bay Area
A (Geology) Tour of the Berkeley Campus - UC Berkeley
Earthquakes at UCB? Hayward Fault (pdf)- NCGS
Tour of the Hayward Fault - Sue Hirschfeld
Active Traces of Hayward Fault with Google Earth - USGS
Field Trip to the Hayward Fault Zone – USGS
Where’s the Hayward Fault? – Stoffer/USGS
Robert Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve - East Bay Regional Park District

South Bay Area
San Andreas and San Gregorio Fault Systems in San Mateo County (pdf) – USGS
Tide Pools at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve – Evil Mad Scientist
Field Trip to the Fitzgerald Marine Preserve – USGS
Anderson Dam and Coyote Creek, Santa Clara Co. – GeologyCafe
Geology and Calaveras Fault near Coyote Reservoir – GeologyCafe
Landslide at Harvey Bear Ranch – GeologyCafe
Del Puerto Canyon - CSU Stanislaus
Earthquake Trail, Sanborn County Park (pdf) - USGS

Mt. Diablo
Geology of Mt. Diablo - Mt. Diablo Interpretive Assoc.
Geologic Guide to the Falls Trail Loop - Mt. Diablo Interpretive Assoc.

Santa Cruz Mountains
Field-Trip Guide to the Southeastern Foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains - USGS
Natural Bridges Field Trip Guide – C Rowe, UC Santa Cruz
Field-trip guide to the geology of the Lexington Reservoir and Loma Prieta areas in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties, California – USGS
Southern Santa Cruz Mountains – GeologyCafe
San Andreas Fault, Lexington Reservoir and Loma Prieta Peak Areas (pdf) – USGS
Forest of Nisene Marks State Park: Epicenter of 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake (pdf) – USGS
Lyndon Canyon and Ranch Lake/San Andreas Rift Valley (pdf) – USGS
Skyline Ridge Region – geology and character of San Andreas Rift (pdf) – USGS
Seismic Hazard of the Range Front Thrust Faults, NE Santa Cruz Mountains/SW Santa Clara Valley (PDF) – Kennedy/AEG
Geology, Soils and Wine Quality in the Santa Clara Valley-Santa Cruz Mountains (pdf) - Wright
Calaveras Fault near Gilroy – GeologyCafe

Monterey Bay Area
Geology and Coastal Hazards in the Northern Monterey Bay (pdf) - USGS
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve – Thomson/Point Lobos Association

Big Sur
Salina/Nacimento Amalgamated Terrane – Ernst/Peninsula Geological Society
Guide to the Geology of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park – Oakeshott/CGS
Big Sur – The American Southwest
Big Sur – Ernst/Peninsula Geological Society
Big Sur (pdf) – Jessey/Cal Poly Pomona Geology Club/CSUP

Soledad Area
Pinnacles National Monument – Geology Fieldnotes/National Park Service
Pinnacles National Monument – 3D Geology/USGS
Pinnacles National Park – The American Southwest

San Benito County
Fremont Peak State Park – GeologyCafe
Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, Old Stage Road – GeologyCafe
San Andreas Fault in Northern San Benito County-Aromas to San Juan Bautista – GeologyCafe
San Andreas Fault Walk in San Juan Bautista – GeologyCafe
San Andreas Fault in San Benito County – GeologyCafe
San Andreas Fault in Cienega Valley, Wine Tour Route – GeologyCafe
A Walking Tour of the Calaveras Fault in Hollister, California – Stanford
Calaveras Fault in Hollister – GeologyCafe
Calaveras and San Andreas faults: Hollister and San Juan Bautista Region (pdf) – USGS

San Luis Obispo Area
The Morros (Morro Rock and Other Features) - Cuesta College
Pismo Beach – Jamie Foster
Geological Tour of Poly Canyon - Cal Poly
Montaña de Oro State Park – CA State Parks
Montana de Oro State Park – The American Southwest

Taft Area
Carrizo Plain National Monument  - 3D Geology/USGS
San Andreas Fault at Wallace Creek/Kite Photography - USGS
San Andreas Fault Zone in the Carrizo Plain – Arrowsmith/ASU
San Andreas Fault/Carrizo Plain National Monument - BLM
San Andreas Fault – Carrizo Plain to Imperial Valley - M.Ballard
Wallace Creek Interpretive Trail – SCEC

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Colorado Desert

 

 

4D Architecture of an Oblique Rift Margin/Sierra Cucapah and Laguna Salada, Baja CA (pdf) – Fletcher/FOP
Anza Borrego Geology (pdf/23MB) – SUNY
Fossil Hunting in the Yuha Basin – Bremner/DesertUSA
Imperial Sand Dunes - DesertUSA
Algodones Dunes (pdf/) - Rossbacher/GSA
Mojave-Mecca Geology (pdf) – Hasbargen/SUNY
Salton Sea-Homepage - San Diego SU
Salton Basin-Colorado Delta - San Diego State University
Salton Buttes Lava Domes – Volcano Hazards Program/USGS
San Andreas Field Trip – Cal Poly Pomona

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Great Valley

 

 

Sacramento Valley
Sutter Buttes Fact Sheet (pdf/5.6MB) USGS
Quaternary Geology of the Sacramento Area (PDF) – Shlemon/AEG
Tracking Hydraulic Mining Sediment in the Sierra Foothills and Sacramento Valley (pdf) – James/AAG
Quaternary Geology of Northern Sacramento County (pdf) – Shlemon/GSS/UCD

San Joaquin Valley
San Joaquin Valley Through Time - Buena Vista Museum of Natural History
Vernal Pools-Ephemeral Oasis of the Foothills – Sierra Nature Notes
Geology of the McKittrick Tar Pits - San Joaquin Geological Society

Coalinga Area
Field Trip to the Kettleman Hills Fossil District. Kings County, California – Inyo
Fossils from the Kettleman Hills - Inyo
Kettleman Hills and Death Valley - UC Berkeley

Bakersfield Area
A Visit to the Sharktooth Hill Bone Bed, Southern California – Inyo
Sharktooth Hill - Buena Vista Museum of Natural History

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Klamath Mountains

 

 

Trinity Mountains
Trinity River Tour: Geology - KRIS

Klamath Mountains
Mt. Shasta and the Klamath Mountains Field Trip - Peninsula Geological Society
Geology of the Smith River/Josephine Ophiolite – College of the Redwoods
Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area – Geology Fieldnotes- NPS
Geologic Evolution of the Northernmost Coast Ranges and Western Klamath Mountains (pdf) – Aalto/28th International Geological Congress
Castle Crags State Park – The American Southwest

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Modoc Plateau 

 

 

NE Siskiyou County
Lava Beds National Monument – Geology Fieldnotes/National Park Service
Lava Beds National Monument – National Park Service
Lava Beds National Monument/3D – Geology of National Parks/USGS
Lava Beds National Monument – Volcano Hazards Program/USGS
Lava Beds National Monument – The American Southwest
Medicine Lake Volcano - Volcano Hazards Program/USGS

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Mojave Desert

 

 

Mojave Desert
Mojave Desert – DesertUSA
Mojave Desert, Mitchell Caverns, and Rainbow Basin – A. Grippo, SMCC
Fossil Insects and Vertebrates on the Mojave Desert – Inyo
Palmdale: the San Andreas Fault – Shallow Sky
Amboy Crater – BLM
Rainbow Basin – Shallow Sky
Blackhawk Slide – Shallow Sky
Fossils at Red Rock Canyon State Park – Inyo
Field Guide to the Geology of Red Rock Canyon and Southern El Paso Mountains (pdf) – Whistler/NHMLA
Fossils from Pleistocene Lake Manix - Inyo
Field Trip to Pleistocene Lake Manix - Inyo
Quaternary Stratigraphy, Drainage-Basin Development, and Geomorphology of the Lake Manix Basin, Mojave Desert – Reheis/FOP/USGS
Mojave-Mecca Geology (pdf) – Hasbargen/SUNY
Old Ores – Mining History in the Eastern Mojave Desert (pdf) – Reynolds/Desert Symposium
The Cinnamon Geode Beds – Ross/DesertUSA
Trilobites in the Marble Mountains, Mojave Desert – Inyo
San Andreas Field Trip – Cal Poly Pomona

Mojave National Preserve
Mojave National Preserve – Geology Fieldnotes/National Park Service
Mojave National Preserve – National Park Service
Geology of Mojave National Preserve – USGS/NPS
Mojave National Preserve – 3D Geology/USGS
Mojave National Preserve Virtual Field Trip – USGS/NPS

Joshua Tree Area
Geology Road Tour@ Joshua Tree National Park – Bremner/DesertUSA
Joshua Tree National Monument/3D - Geology of National Parks/USGS
Unique Rock Formations Joshua Tree National Park – DesertUSA
Joshua Tree National Monument – Geology Fieldnotes/National Park Service

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Peninsular Ranges

 

 

Channel Islands
Santa Cruz Island – Geology/UCD
Channel Islands – Geology Fieldnotes/National Park Service

Los Angeles
Los Angeles Aqueduct - KCET
La Brea Tar Pits - UCMP-Berkeley
La Brea Tar Pits Photo Tour – G. Reed
The World Famous La Brea Tar Pits - USGS
Santa Monica Mountains Hike #5 - National Park Service
Santa Monica Mountains Geologic Formations - National Park Service
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area – Geology Fieldnotes/National Park Service
Palos Verdes Peninsula (pdf) – McNulty/CSUDH

Orange County
Crystal Cove State Park Geology Discovery Trail – CA State Parks
The Geologic History of Orange County – Stadum/Irvine Valley College
Geology Discovery Trail in Crystal Cove State Park – Smigelski/Hikespeak

Eastern Peninsular Ranges
Anza-Borrego Geology – Barrie/A-BDNHA

Temecula Area
Field Guide to the Santa Rosa Plateau - T. Chester

San Diego County
Geology of Torrey Pines State National Reserve – Grine/TPSNR
Geology of San Diego County – Demere/San Diego Natural History Museum
The Himalaya Tourmaline Mine – DesertUSA

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Sierra Nevada

 

Northern Sierra Nevada
A Paleobotanical Field Trip to the Sailor Flat Hydraulic Gold Mine - Inyo
Fossil Plants of the Ione Basin, Western Foothills of the Sierra Nevada - Inyo
Transect of the Northern Sierra Via Interstate 80 (pdf) – Hilton/Sierra College
Turbulent Times in the Truckee Meadows (pdf) – NBMG
Geologic History of South Yuba River State Park (pdf)– Pauly/UCD
Geology Field Trip Guides: Central Mother Lode, Jackson to Grass Valley – Wilkerson/BLM
Gold Deposits of the Western Sierra Nevada (pdf) –Dodge/SEG

Mammoth Area
A Field Trip to Owens Valley/Mammoth Lakes – Jessey/CSU Pomona
Long Valley Caldera – Volcano Hazards Program/USGS
Devils Postpile – National Park Service
Geologic History of Devils Postpile – USGS
Devils Postpile National Monument – Geology Fieldnotes/National Park Service
Devils Postpile National Monument – The American Southwest

Yosemite
Roadside Geology of Yosemite Valley – Hayes/NAGT-FWS
Bedrock Geology of the Yosemite Valley Area – Huber/USGS/NPS
Yosemite National Park – Geology Fieldnotes/National Park Service
Yosemite National Park – 3D Geology/USGS
Western Sierra Nevada/Foothills Metamorphic Belt (pdf) – Cal Poly Geology Club

Southern Sierra Nevada
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks – Geology Fieldnotes/National Park Service
Golden Trout Creek Volcanic Field – Volcano Hazards Program/USGS
 
Eastern Sierra Nevada
Roadside Geology and Mining History Owens Valley and Mono Basin (pdf/14.7MB) – Wilkerson/BLM
Hot Creek Geological Area – Crossley/American Southwest
Onion Valley, Kearsarge Pass, Mt Gould and Golden Trout Lake – The American Southwest
Big Pine Lakes – The American Southwest

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Transverse Ranges

 

 

Channel Islands
Santa Cruz Island – Geology/UCD
Channel Islands National Park - National Park Service

Northern Los Angeles County
Geology of the Santa Clarita Valley - M.Ballard
Geology of Acton - M.Ballard
Geology of Agua Dulce - M.Ballard
Geology of Canyon Country - M.Ballard
Geology of Castaic and Adjacent Areas - M.Ballard
Soledad and Mint Canyons - M.Ballard
I-5/SR-14 Interchange to Magic Mountain via I-5 [San Andreas Fault] - M.Ballard
Santa Clarita Valley - M.Ballard
Geology of Newhall - M.Ballard
San Andreas Fault – Carrizo Plain to Imperial Valley - M.Ballard
Geology of Saugus - M.Ballard
Geology of Valencia - M.Ballard

San Gabriel Mountains
Field Guide to the Punchbowl Fault Zone (pdf/1.65MB) - Chester/Texas A&M
Field Guide to the San Gabriel Mountains - T. Chester
San Antonio Creek and Icehouse Canyon – Nourse/Cal Poly Pomona
San Gabriel Anorthosite – Shallow Sky
Cajon Pass: the San Andreas Fault – Shallow Sky

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California Geological Survey GeoTours was updated 9/30/2014. If there are errors or new material to be added please contact cpridmore@consrv.ca.gov