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Death Valley dunes
Death Valley dunes. Photo by Paul Stone, USGS

Death Valley National Park

Virtual Geology Field Trip
spacer image This field trip will take you to just a few of Death Valley’s geological wonders. Most of the sites you'll see are right off the highway, but we've included a few side trips that take you off the beaten path. If you plan on visiting the park in person, you'll be interested in the "If you're going" link at the bottom of each page.

Death Valley field trip button

Tripping through time
spacer image We've arranged the field trip stops so that you can travel through 1.7 billion years of time. The menu below lists the oldest features and rocks first, with younger rocks and features following. You may also navigate by using the clickable map link at the top of each page. Are you ready to hit the road?

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geologic time scale

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Death Valley Dawn
1.8 billion years to 570 million years ago (Precambrian)

pebble Badwater
The oldest rocks - relics of the Precambrian world

pebble Mosaic Canyon
Slot canyon, deformed and polished marble

Death Valley at the equator
570-250 million years ago (Paleozoic)

pebble Titus Canyon
Tropical seas

The Earth shook, the sea withdrew
250-65 million years ago (Mesozoic)

pebble Uplift and erosion

Quiet to chaos
65 million to 10,000 years ago (Cenozoic)

pebble Dante’s View
Basin and range

pebble Amargosa Chaos
Death Valley rocks sliced and diced

pebble Split cinder cone
Cinder cone sliced by fault

pebble Artist’s Drive
Colors of nature

pebble Zabriskie Point
Remnants of ancient lakes

pebble Golden Canyon
Ramble through the Furnace Creek Formation

pebble Shoreline Butte
Pleistocene lakeshores

Death Valley today
10,000 years ago to today

pebble Badwater
As low as you can go; fault scarps, salt pan

pebble Dante’s View
Alluvial fans; salt pan view

pebble Death Valley dunes
Desert sands

pebble Devil’s Golf Course
Salt deposits

pebble Furnace Creek
Focus on water

pebble Harmony Borax works
Early mining in Death Valley

pebble Racetrack Playa
Mysterious sliding rocks

pebble Saratoga Springs
Desert oasis

pebble Ubehebe Crater
Maar volcanoes

| Death Valley geology | Death Valley National Park | Geology field trip |
| Death Valley time| Geologist's page | Image gallery |

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This site is a cooperative endeavor of the
US Geological Survey Western Earth Surface Processes Team
and the National Park Service.
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This page was last updated on 6/30/00