Talking Rocks 2018

Our first tour, April 22 – 29 is nearly full. Lots of room still available on the second tour, April 29 – May 6.

One small piece of the Grand Staircase, the exposed layers of sedimentary rocks that begin (starting from the oldest) with the Tapeats Sandstone in Grand Canyon and top out in the Claron Formation in Bryce Canyon.

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Talking Rocks Tours 2018

Our first tour will be April 15-22, 2018. The second will be April 29-May 6.

Highlights: Snow Canyon petroglyphs, Bryce Canyon, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Trackway, Buckskin Gulch, and Grand Canyon. Both tours will include instruction by Gerry Bryant, Ph. D., director of the Colorado Plateau Institute. Dr. Bryant is a geologist whose specialty is the Navajo Sandstone.

The first tour will emphasize hiking, featuring two hikes of 20+ miles. (With shorter options available.) The second tour will use the same campground itinerary, but the featured hiking will be shorter, five or six miles max with more time for campfire and conversation in the evenings. Cost for either tour is $600.  This covers everything, entrance fees, food, professional fee for our geologist, and local transportation. A reservation requires a deposit of $300. A check can be mailed to 43408 236th Ave SE, Enumclaw, WA  98022 or you can pay through Google Wallet. Up through the end of March, the deposit is fully refundable. Cancellation after the end of March, the refund will be $150.

Our adventure begins in St. George, UT, and ends in Las Vegas. For detailed itineraries click on the respective links to the right. The Feet and Miles Tour is the the first one featuring long hikes. The Sunshine and Campfire tour is the second tour which is less intense physically.

Any questions, feel free to contact me through email or by phone. jtmclarty@gmail.com or 253-350-1211.

 

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Ash Meadows, Nevada

Sunshine and Campfires Tour, 2018

Talking Rocks Tours

The Sunshine and Campfires Tour

April 29 – May 6, 2018

Sunday. Arrive in St. George, Utah.

By air: Fly to Las Vegas and take a shuttle to St. George. Or car pool. Don’t reserve a shuttle seat without checking with me.

Sunday afternoon. Explore Snow Canyon State Park on your own. Lava caves, sandstone exposures, sandy washes.

Sunday evening. Camp in Snow Canyon (showers). Lecture: Geology 101 and local geology.

Monday morning. Hike to Snow Canyon petroglyphs (5 miles). Led by Gerry Bryant. Geology: Erosion, lava flows, topographic inversion, lag deposits, desert varnish, diagenetic color changes. Drive to the cinder cones at the top of the Snow Canyon lava flows.

Monday afternoon: Investigate the contact between the Kayenta and Navajo formations. Instruction by Gerry Bryant. Drive to Bryce Canyon.

Monday night. Camp at Bryce Canyon. (No showers.)

Tuesday morning. Dawn on the rim. After breakfast: Intro to local geology by Gerry Bryant. The Clarno Formation—the youngest bedrock we’ll examine on our trip. Midday: Hike along the rim. For the more adventuresome: the Tower Bridge Trail (3 miles) or the Fairyland Loop Trail (8 miles).

Tuesday afternoon. Drive to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.

Tuesday night. Camp at Coral Pink (showers).

Wednesday morning. Dawn at the dunes. Instruction by Gerry Bryant.

Midday: Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Trackway. Instruction by Gerry Bryant.

Local exploring of dunes, creek beds, and peaks.

Wednesday night. Camp at Coral Pink (showers).

Thursday. Buckskin Gulch hike (5 or 6 miles). We will hike in from Wiregrass Flat. If we have people wishing to hike the entire canyon (21 miles) that can be arranged for a small group.

Best web site for info: http://climb-utah.com/Escalante/buckskin.htm

Thursday night. Camp at Coral Pink (showers).

Friday morning. Drive to Grand Canyon. For the adventurous, we can hike down to the Coconino Sandstone with its fossil tracks.

Friday afternoon/evening. Hike/ride the shuttle along the rim.

Friday night: Camp at Grand Canyon (showers).

Sabbath. Hike to Plateau Point. 11 miles round trip. 3000 feet of elevation gain. In my opinion, this is the best hike in the park. We will take a very leisurely pace, eat lunch at the point, then take it very slow and easy back up. There are, of course, lots of shorter, easier options to experiencing the glory of the canyon.

Saturday night: Camp at Grand Canyon (showers).

Sunday morning. Drive to Las Vegas airport.

Feet and Miles Tour 2018

Talking Rocks Tours, Miles and Feet Tour, April 15-22, 2018.

Note: This tour features several long hikes. The longest hikes–Buckskin Gulch and Grand Canyon–will allow for shorter options.

Campground

Activities

Notes

Sunday

Snow Canyon Showers

Fly to Las Vegas. Try to arrive by 1p.

Get a shuttle to St. George.

Afternoon. explore Snow Canyon. Lava caves, fossil sand dunes.

Evening: Lecture- Geology 101 and local geology.

It is possible we may arrange a car pool in a rental car. Let me know your air travel plans as soon as possible. Do not make a shuttle reservation yet.

Monday

Bryce Canyon

No showers

Morning. Hike to Snow Canyon petroglyphs (5 miles). Led by Gerry Bryant. Drive to cinder cones. Geology: Erosion, lava flows, topographic inversion, lag deposits, desert varnish, diagenic color changes.

Afternoon: Contact between the Kayenta and Navajo formations. Instruction by Gerry Bryant. Drive to Bryce Canyon.

No showers at Bryce.

Tuesday

Coral Pink Sand Dunes SP

Showers

Dawn on the rim. After breakfast, intro to local geology by Gerry Bryant. Midday: Hike 8 miles.

Afternoon. Drive to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. (CP)

Bryce is most spectacular at dawn.

The rocks at Bryce are Cenozoic—the youngest bedrock we’ll encounter on our trip.

Wednesday

Coral Pink Sand Dunes SP

Showers

Dawn at the dunes. Instruction by Gerry Bryant.

Midday: Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Trackway. Instruction by Gerry Bryant.

Local exploring of dunes and creek beds.

Go to bed early for a very early start on Thursday.

Thursday

Coral Pink Sand Dunes SP

Showers

Buckskin Gulch hike (20 miles).

Best web site for info: http://climb-utah.com/Escalante/buckskin.htm

There will be a shorter option of five or six miles in and out of the upper part of the Gulch.

Friday

Grand Canyon

Showers

Rim to rim (if the road to the North Rim trail head is open. Two people (including me) will not do the rim-to-rim. Instead, we will shuttle the cars to the south rim. The rim-to-rim is an option, not a requirement. Venture at your own risk.

North Kaibab Trail (elevation change 8,241 ft – 14.3 miles – mostly a descent) to Bright Angel Trail (mostly an ascent – 9.6 miles – elevation change 6,860 ft) for a total of 23.9 miles. Plan B: Hike to Plateau Point for sundown.

Sabbath

Grand Canyon

Showers

Hike to Plateau Pt. 11 miles, 3000 ft.

Plan B: Hermit Trail. Animal tracks in the Coconino Sandstone

Sunday

Drive to Las Vegas

Sky Lover

I’m a sky lover. Dawn–I sit in meditation outside at dawn nearly every morning. Rain or shine, but I prefer shine.

Part of the magic of the desert is the unhindered sky gazing. On our Talking Rock tours, we eat good food, enjoy good conversation, study rocks and geological formations. All under desert sky–blue by day, black by night. golden at dawn and sunset.

IMG_20171213_073222 This is obviously not the desert. This is the view east from our farm. That’s Mt. Rainier at the lower right. I’d be happy to host you on a tour of that grand mountain if you’re in the area when the road is open, June – October, usually.

Talking Rock Tours 2018

Feet and Miles Tour, April 15-22. This tour maximizes the hiking. In Bryce, we’ll do 8 miles. In Buckskin, we’ll cover 21 miles. At Grand Canyon, we do a ten and a twenty mile hike. The formal geology instruction will be concentrated in the first couple of days.

Itinerary. Snow Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Trackway, Buckskin Gulch, Grand Canyon.

Geology and Campfires Tour. April 29-May 6. Same campgrounds as the above tour. But the hiking will be limited to five or six miles/day max. A more leisurely pace overall. Better food.  More time for interaction with our geology professor, Gerry Bryant.

God, Rocks, and Souls Tour. Five days in Death Valley. Wednesday evening through Sunday morning, May 9-13. Darwin Falls. Eureka Dunes. Badwater. Canyon treks. Geology. God. Desert/Nature Spirituality.

For information or reservations:  jtmclarty@gmail.com or 253-350-1211.

 

Itinerary, Miles and Feet Tour

April 15 – 22, 2018

The focus of this tour is hiking. Yes, we’ll talk geology. We’ll notice geology. We’ll visit dinosaur tracks. And we’ll hike. Lots of hiking.

Bryce Canyon. Buckskin Gulch (a slot canyon). Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Trackway. Coral Pink Sand Dunes. Grand Canyon.

To the bottom of Grand Canyon.

Here’s the itinerary.

Sunday. Arrive in St. George, Utah.
By air: Fly to Las Vegas and take a shuttle to St. George.

Sunday afternoon. Explore Snow Canyon State Park on your own. Lava caves, sandstone exposures, sandy washes.

Sunday evening. Camp in Snow Canyon. Lecture: Geology 101 and local geology.

Monday morning. Hike to Snow Canyon petroglyphs. Led by Gerry Bryant. Geology: Erosion, lava flows, topographic inversion, lag deposits, desert varnish, diagenic color changes.

Monday afternoon. Contact between the Kayenta and Navajo formations. Drive to Bryce Canyon.

Monday night. Camp at Bryce Canyon. (No showers.)

Tuesday morning. Dawn on the rim. After breakfast: Intro to local geology. Midday: Hike eight miles.

Tuesday afternoon. Drive to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.

Tuesday night. Camp at Coral Pink.

Wednesday morning. Dawn at the dunes.

Wednesday midday: Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Trackway.

Local exploring of dunes, creek beds, and peaks.

Wednesday night. Camp at Coral Pink.

Thursday. Buckskin Gulch. 20 mile hike.

Thursday night. Camp at Coral Pink.

Friday morning. Drive to Grand Canyon.

Friday afternoon. Hike to Plateau Point. Eleven miles round trip. 3000 feet of elevation gain.

Sabbath. Hike to the bottom of Grand Canyon. Down South Kaibab, up Bright Angel. Fifteen miles, 5000 feet of elevation gain.

Sunday morning. Drive to Las Vegas airport.

Cost: $600. Includes local transportation, food, entrance and camping fees, geology professor.

Contact info:  John McLarty. 253-350-1211. jtmclarty@gmail.com.