« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Geology of the Fall River & Big Thompson Valleys

Aug 2, 2023

Curious about how the interaction between rock and water has shaped the eastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park? Join noted geologist David Lindsey for this informative exploration of the Fall River and Big Thompson Valleys!

Entering Rocky Mountain National Park along the Fall River corridor, we will travel together up the famous Trail Ridge Road as far as Forest Canyon Overlook to view the glacial landscape and ancient rocks of the park. We will spend time at the Alluvial Fan to learn about floods and their deposits, where the boulders of the Alluvial Fan also provide an opportunity to examine fresh rock surfaces to help us with rock and mineral identification. As we proceed, we will also discuss glacial features, the causes of glacial advance, the origin of ice ages, and how the rocks in the park formed. After this course, you’ll have a whole new appreciation for the dynamic landscapes of Rocky Mountain National Park!

We will meet at the Estes Park Visitor Center and travel together to various sites in Rocky Mountain National Park in Conservancy vehicles. Registration includes all required fees and permits for Rocky Mountain National Park.

Who: Participants ages 16 and up

When: Wednesday, August 2, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Where: Estes Park Visitor Center, 500 Big Thompson Ave, Estes Park, and various field locations on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park

What to bring: 10 Essentials for Field Courses and a sack lunch. Optional: camera, hand lens, and binoculars

This is a Level II course. Expect short-distance walks throughout the day, primarily on level terrain.


Conservancy members get 15% off individual registration when you use the discount code in your membership email! Enter your code and select “Member Registration” tickets at checkout. Limit 2 per membership.

Not a member of the Conservancy? Learn more and join here: Conservancy Membership

For questions about membership, please contact memberprocessing@rmconservancy.org or call 970-586-0108.

For questions about the course, please contact education@RMConservancy.org or call 970-586-3262.

About your instructor: David Lindsey (retired, US Geological Survey) has a BS (Nebraska) and PhD (Johns Hopkins) in geology. He has conducted geologic mapping and research throughout the American West. His principal research has been on the deposits of ancient glaciers and streams, the structure of mountains, volcanic centers, and mineral deposits. He has led classes on the Geology of Trail Ridge Road since 2006.