Ooo, Geo-Sites Meme!

Right, I’m in. I won’t win, but I can certainly enjoy playing the game – and so can a good number of you, I suspect. Callan Bentley just finished reading a review copy of 101 American Geo-Sites You’ve Gotta See, which seems like a damned fine book for getting people interested in geology. I likes it.

Let’s see what I have seen. Places I’ve visited are in bold.

1. Wetumpka Crater, Alabama
2. Exit Glacier, Alaska
3. Antelope Canyon, Arizona (I lived within spitting distance but never went, how sad is that?)
4. Meteor Crater, Arizona
5. Monument Valley, Arizona (I’ve seen it from Meteor Crater, does that count?)
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
15. Dinosaur Trackway, Connecticut (Been to the one in Holyoke, MA, but not this)
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
23. Valmeyer Anticline, Illinois
24. Hanging Rock Klint, Indiana (WTF, geology in Indiana?! If only I’d known then…)
25. Fort Dodge Gypsum, Iowa
26. Monument Rocks, Kansas
27. Ohio Black Shale, Kentucky
28. Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
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
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
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
75. Mammoth Site, South Dakota
76. Pinnacles Overlook, 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
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
96. Amnicon Falls, Wisconsin
97. Green River, Wyoming
98. Devils Tower, Wyoming
99. Fossil Butte, Wyoming
100. Steamboat Geyser, Wyoming
101. Specimen Ridge, Wyoming

Pretty pathetic showing, if I want to measure myself against this list. But I’ve seen some damned fine geology. I’ve been to places that certainly kick Monument Valley’s arse. And I’ve been to Fantastic Caverns in Missouri, which is certainly fantastic. Kinda wish they’d made the list.

Lockwood’s dissatisfied with this list, and has started one of his own, focused on Oregon. If you’ve got some suggestions for an Oregon geology list, head on over and let him know. I’m going to do the same for Washington and Arizona, the two states I’ve called home. So much awesome. It’ll take a while to come up with a list of 101 for each state, and I’ll need your help. Bung your favorites into the comments, and let’s get started! Also, let us know if you tackle the task for your own state/province/other. I’ll do my best to curate a master list. We can cover the world!

Let’s take this opportunity to show each other, and other folks who might not have even considered doing some geotrekking, just how amazing this little planet is.

Barringer Meteor Crater, Arizona. Image courtesy Cujo359
Ooo, Geo-Sites Meme!

7 thoughts on “Ooo, Geo-Sites Meme!

  1. 2


    I know its cliche, but shouldn’t Grand Canyon be on the list? Others are Canyon de Chelly, Ship Rock, and Sunset Crater. Also, there are tres cool volcanic domes just east of Flagstaff, viewable from I40, on the way to Meteor Crater. Hell, what about the entire Mogollon Rim? Now THATs some frikin’ geology!
    –Oh, yeah, you can’t see Monument Valley from Meteor Crater, ya silly!

  2. 3

    Nine of 101 for me, but then I’m twice as old (or so) as you are. With one more possible; I’m not exactly sure what “Butte Pluton, Montana” is referring to but I’ve certainly been to Butte and looked down into the Berkeley Pit — before it was full of water. Another possibility is Chief Mountain, Montana — I’ve likely seen it when we went to Glacier but don’t remember.

    You could easily do a whole 101 items of awesomeness in Yellowstone National Park alone. If you like geology, you really must go.

  3. 4

    Oops, missed El Capitan so that makes 10. And I’ve undoubtedly seen Specimen Ridge Wyoming (Yellowstone) from a distance but I don’t think I’ll count that one since I didn’t know anything special about it.

  4. 5

    I wish that instead of “Schoodic Point, ME”, they listed Acadia National Park or Mount Desert Island. The entire island is an awesome study in geology. Maine also has some pretty spectacular folded material along its fault lines, in all sorts of pretty colours.

    And Flume Gorge is glorious!

  5. 6

    You actually have been within 20 or 30 feet of Lava River Cave: it crosses under Rt. 97 a bit north of the Lava Butte area, but it was one of those things that we didn’t really have time for- also, as I mentioned in the Oregon geo-sites post, if I was going to highlight one lava tube, it would be Derrick Cave, which isn’t too far out of the way from Fort Rock.

    My recommendation for a Washington geo-site is Ape Cave, the longest lava tube in the contiguous US, and a nearby site in the same flow called “the jumbles” or “the chaos” or something like that. A bunch of tree trunks caught in the flow have left a series of interlinked tubes when they burned and weathered out.

    I was only to Ape Cave once, with kids, and didn’t have a chance to explore its length.

  6. 7

    I count 12 that I’ve seen for sure on the list. Like Trebuchet, I’ve been around a bit longer than you have.

    I’ve made a start on a list for Michigan. Keep in mind that anything in Michigan called a mountain would be very disappointing to someone from Seattle. I’ve included some waterfalls, but one could fairly easily make a list of 101 waterfalls just from the Upper Peninsula. I’ve also included some mine dumps for collecting, because we always need more rocks. The list is heavily skewed toward the Upper Peninsula – MI geology tends to get more interesting as you go north. Here is what I have so far:

    1. Isle Royale National Park – one could develop a list of sites just for Isle Royale
    2. Castle Rock, St. Ignace
    3. Mackinac Island
    4. Upper & Lower Tahquamenon Falls
    5. Miners Castle, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
    6. Chapel Rock, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
    7. Presque Isle Park, Marquette
    8. Tourist Park, Marquette – glaciated igneous bedrock
    9. Sugar Loaf Mountain, Marquette
    10. Chocolay Quarry, Harvey
    11. Pillow Lava outcrop (glacially polished) U.S. 41 W. of Marquette
    12. Lindberg & Sons Quarry – Kona Dolomite, Marquette County
    13. Tilden Iron Mine, Marquette County
    14. Empire Iron Mine, Marquette County
    15. Jasper Knob, Ishpeming
    16. Incline Mine, Ishpeming – Jaspilite collecting site
    17. Cliffs Shaft Museum, Ishpeming
    18. Champion Mine dump, Champion – specular hematite
    19. A. E. Seaman Mineralogical Museum, Houghton – OK, it’s a museum, not an outcrop, but worthwhile
    20. Quincy Mine, Hancock – historic copper mine
    21. Allouez mine dump, Allouez – native copper/Allouez conglomerate
    22. Wolverine mine dump, Wolverine – native copper/amygdaloidal basalt
    23. New Caledonia Mine, Ontanagon County – native copper/ amygdaloidal basalt
    24. Lake of the Clouds, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
    34. Nonesuch Potholes, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
    35. Brockway Mountain, Keweenaw County
    36. Munising Falls, Munising
    37. Kitch-iti-kipi, Schoolcraft County – sinkhole & artesian spring
    38. Laughing Whitefish Falls, Alger County
    39. Bond Falls, Ontanagon County
    40. St. Mary’s River & Soo Locks, Sault Ste. Marie
    41. Rockport Quarry, Rockport – Devonian fossils
    42. Grindstone, MI – guess what they used to make there…
    43. Mount Arvon, Baraga County – highest point in MI, Elevation 1,979 ft (603m)
    44. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
    45. Sanilac Petroglyphs, Sanilac County
    46. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
    47. Garden Peninsula, Delta County – glaciated limestone & alvar habitats
    48. Grand River Ledges, Grand Ledge
    49. Blue Ridge Esker, Jackson County

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