Updated: January 17, 2011



Dry Falls, a 350-foot high, 3-mile-wide waterfall carved into Columbia Plateau basalts during releases from the Lake Missoula floods.
(Photo by D.P. Schwert)

This page will be continuously updated, as more information about the field course becomes available.


Saturday, March 12, 2011:

  • Depart from Amtrak Station, Fargo, 3:35 a.m.

Sunday, March 13:

  • Arrive at Spokane, 1:40 a.m.
  • Overnight lodging (provided)
  • In late morning, get rental vans. Grocery shopping in Spokane.
  • If time allows, travel to Latah Creek section, south of Spokane.
  • Travel southwest on I-90 to Sprague Exit. Turn south on Hwy 23 for about 12 miles.
  • Return to I-90. Hwy 21 to Rosenoff Road near Ritzville. Section showing older flood deposits.
  • Continue southwest to Moses Lake. Turn south to Potholes State Park.
  • Petrocalcics, dunes, volcanic ashes, and geomorphologic history of Moses Lake.
  • Return to I-90, and continue west to Vantage.
  • Camp at Vantage Riverstone Resort, Vantage, WA. (Showers).

Monday March 14:

  • Leave Vantage, traveling east on I-90 to George, then north on Hwy 281 to Quincy, and then west on Hwy 28 to Crescent Bar.
  • Travel east to Soap Lake. Turn south on Hwy 17. Turn east toward "Fish Hatchery."
  • Ephrata Fan.
  • Hwy 17 to Soap Lake. Turn east on Hwy 28 to Marlin. Megaripples along Crab Creek.
  • Hwy 28 west to w of Stratford. Turn north toward Summer Falls State Park, and continue north to Coulee City. Turn west on Hwy 17, and continue to Dry Falls State Park.
  • Travel southwest on Hwy 17 to region of Sun Lakes State Park. View Coulee Monocline.
  • Return to Vantage Riverstone Resort, Vantage, WA. (Showers).

Tuesday, March 15:

  • Regional geologic tour. We will be joined by Dr. Steve Reidel (Washington State University-TriCities) and Debra Alexander (NDSU Geology alum), Senior Scientist, Groundwater Remediation Project, Hanford Site. Specific sites to be announced.
  • Travel to Richland, WA.
  • Overnight to be arranged.

Wednesday, March 16:

  • Tour of U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Site (Alexander, others).
  • Head southwest along the Columbia River to view Wallula Gap.
  • Head northeast (routes to be determined) to Palouse Falls State Park.
  • Camp at Palouse Falls State Park. (Primitive camping. Noise restrictions apply, as usual).

Thursday, March 17:

  • Hwy 261 north to Hwy 260. Turn east, traveling to Washtucna. Turn east, travel to Hooper.
  • Travel west on Hwy 26 to Washtucna. Turn southwest on Hwy 260 to Kahlotus. Turn south on Hwy 263 to Lower Monumental Dam.
  • Megaripples along the Snake River.
  • Return via Hwys 263, 260, and 261 to region of Palouse Falls State Park.
  • Highway routes to be determined.
  • Travel on U.S. Hwy 12 to Lewiston, Idaho. Turn south and follow Snake River.
  • Camp at Hells Gate State Park, 3 miles south of Lewiston, Idaho. (Primitive camping. Noise restrictions apply, as usual).

Friday, March 18:

  • Regional geologic tour. Exact routes to be determined. If weather allows, sites will include the Eocene plant fossil and garnet collection locations at Clarkia, Idaho.
  • Return to Spokane in mid-evening. Clean vans, and return them to rental agency. Gather at Amtrak station. Course formally ends.

Saturday, March 19:

  • Leave Spokane on Amtrak, 1:30 a.m.

Sunday, March 20:

  • Arrive Fargo, 2:13 a.m.

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