101 American Geo-sites

Callan Bentley (Mountain Beltway) recently started a geo-meme in which he took Albert Dickas’ list of 101 American Geo-Sites You’ve Gotta See and bolded the locations he’s visited, then asked others to do the same.  I’m jumping on the bandwagon.

You’ll notice that National Parks and some of the most famous geologic landmarks (Grand Canyon, etc.) have been left off the list.  Seeing that I have yet to read his book, I can only assume this was deliberate, and that Dickas intended to highlight some of the lesser-known, but still magnificent geo-sites in our great nation.

Locations I’ve visited are bold and italicized and include photos, whenever I could dig them up.  If the location is a link, I’ve written about it in a post already!

1. Wetumpka Crater, Alabama
2. Exit Glacier, Alaska

A sign marks the location of Exit Glacier in 1998.

3. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
4. Meteor Crater, Arizona
5. Monument Valley, Arizona
6. Prairie Creek Pipe, Arkansas
7. Wallace Creek, California
8. Racetrack Playa, California
9. Devils Postpile, California
10. Rancho La Brea, California
11. El Capitan, California
12. Boulder Flatirons, Colorado
13. Interstate 70 Roadcut, Colorado
14. Florissant Fossil Beds, Colorado

Fossilized tree stump at Florissant Fossil Beds, Colorado (grad students for scale)

15. Dinosaur Trackway, Connecticut
16. Wilmington Blue Rocks, Delaware
17. Devil’s Millhopper, Florida
18. Stone Mountain, Georgia
19. Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii
20. Borah Peak, Idaho
21. Menan Buttes, Idaho
22. Great Rift, Idaho - Does Craters of the Moon count?  It’s right along the Great Rift…

Craters of the Moon National Monument, along the Great Rift in Idaho

23. Valmeyer Anticline, Illinois
24. Hanging Rock Klint, Indiana
25. Fort Dodge Gypsum, Iowa
26. Monument Rocks, Kansas
27. Ohio Black Shale, Kentucky
28. Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

Somewhere in Mammoth Cave, KY

29. Four Corners Roadcut, Kentucky
30. Avery Island, Louisiana
31. Schoodic Point, Maine
32. Calvert Cliffs, Maryland
33. Purgatory Chasm, Massachusetts
34. Nonesuch Potholes, Michigan
35. Quincy Mine, Michigan
36. Grand River Ledges, Michigan
37. Sioux Quartzite, Minnesota
38. Thomson Dikes, Minnesota
39. Soudan Mine, Minnesota
40. Petrified Forest, Mississippi
41. Elephant Rocks, Missouri

Undergrad me in front of “Dumbo”, at Elephant Rocks State Park

42. Grassy Mountain Nonconformity, Missouri
43. Chief Mountain, Montana
44. Madison Slide, Montana
45. Butte Pluton, Montana
46. Quad Creek Quartzite, Montana
47. Ashfall Fossil Beds, Nebraska
48. Scotts Bluff, Nebraska
49. Crow Creek Marlstone, Nebraska
50. Sand Mountain, Nevada
51. Great Unconformity, Nevada
52. Flume Gorge, New Hampshire
53. Palisades Sill, New Jersey
54. White Sands, New Mexico
55. Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico
56. Shiprock Peak, New Mexico
57. State Line Outcrop, New Mexico
58. American Falls, New York
59. Taconic Unconformity, New York
60. Gilboa Forest, New York
61. Pilot Mountain, North Carolina
62. South Killdeer Mountain, North Dakota
63. Hueston Woods, Ohio
64. Big Rock, Ohio
65. Kelleys Island, Ohio

Glaciers carved long grooves into the rock at Kelleys Island, OH

66. Interstate 35 Roadcut, Oklahoma
67. Mount Mazama, Oregon
68. Lava River Cave, Oregon
69. Drake’s Folly, Pennsylvania
70. Hickory Run, Pennsylvania
71. Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania
72. Beavertail Point, Rhode Island
73. Crowburg Basin, South Carolina
74. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

Click to enlarge

Mount Rushmore, Black Hills, South Dakota

75. Mammoth Site, South Dakota

Mammoth Site, South Dakota

76. Pinnacles Overlook, South Dakota

The Badlands of South Dakota

77. Reelfoot Scarp, Tennessee
78. Enchanted Rock, Texas
79. Capitan Reef, Texas
80. Paluxy River Tracks, Texas
81. Upheaval Dome, Utah
82. Checkerboard Mesa, Utah
83. San Juan Goosenecks, Utah
84. Salina Canyon Unconformity, Utah
85. Bingham Stock, Utah
86. Whipstock Hill, Vermont
87. Great Falls, Virginia

Looking upstream towards the Great Falls on the Potomac River

88. Natural Bridge, Virginia
89. Millbrig Ashfall, Virginia
90. Catoctin Greenstone, Virginia
91. Mount St. Helens, Washington
92. Dry Falls, Washington
93. Seneca Rocks, West Virginia
94. Roche-A-Cri Mound, Wisconsin
95. Van Hise Rock, Wisconsin

Van Hise Rock, Wisconsin

96. Amnicon Falls, Wisconsin
97. Green River, Wyoming
98. Devils Tower, Wyoming

Devil’s Tower, Wyoming

99. Fossil Butte, Wyoming
100. Steamboat Geyser, Wyoming
101. Specimen Ridge, Wyoming

Only 19!?  Looks like I have some trip planning to do! (Note that I’ve been “marking off” sites as I’ve visited them, so I’m not over the 19 that I had before writing this post).

If you’d like to see how well others have done in their travels, Ron Schott has been keeping track of everyone within the text above his own list.  Which sites have you been to?

In the mean time, here are a few more locales I’d add to the list:

*102. Garden of the Gods, Colorado

Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO

*103. Ritchie Ledges, Ohio

Students on a field trip at Ritchie Ledges.

*104. Erratic Rock, Oregon
*105. Cedar Bluff Overlook, Virginia
*106. Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite, Wyoming

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4 responses to “101 American Geo-sites

  1. Wow you’ve been to some amazing places. I might borrow this list and get to traveling — at least to the ones in Texas, haha. But seriously Devil’s Tower looks awesome, and the elephant rocks are interesting. How’d they get to be that size and shape?

    • Thanks! I’ll be doing the same. I’d like to get at least half of them while I’m still young enough to not mind long road trips! Elephant Rocks (simple answer) were formed from widely-spaced joints which were weathered out. You can click the link for that one to take you to a brief post I wrote about it.

  2. Pingback: 101 American Geo-Sites Geomeme » Ron Schott's Geology Home Companion Blog·

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