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Geology of Trail Ridge Road

Jun 21, 2023

The foundation of Rocky Mountain National Park’s awe-inspiring views is its bedrock! Join us to learn about how the park’s geology shapes its majestic landscapes.

Participants in this full day course will travel up the famous Trail Ridge Road, from the Fall River Visitor Center to Farview Curve, stopping at about 10 popular overlooks to view and discuss the geology of Rocky Mountain National Park. You will have a chance to examine ancient igneous and metamorphic rocks over a billion years in age and learn how scientists determine geologic age. We will stop at a valley filled with volcanic ash and later view its source in now-vanished volcanoes of the Never Summer Range. And finally, we will observe the rugged landscape carved by glaciers and stand beside glacial moraines deposited tens of thousands of years ago while we discuss glacial processes and the causes of ice ages. Bring your own lunch, water, and appropriate clothing for a full day outdoors. Short walks near the road are easy but remember we are at high altitude.

Who: Participants ages 16 and up

When: Wednesday, June 21, 9 am to 5 pm

Where: Estes Park Visitor Center, 500 Big Thompson Avenue, Estes Park, and various field locations in Rocky Mountain National Park

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

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

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 interests are deposits of ancient glaciers and streams, the structure of mountains, volcanic eruptive centers, and mineral deposits. He has led classes on the Geology of Trail Ridge Road since 2006.

Click here to register via Eventbrite or use the “Buy Ticket” button below. Registration opens February 1, 2023.

Conservancy members get 20% off individual registration when you use the Early Bird discount code in your membership email! 

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 during standard business hours.