Spring Break Field Trip to Grand Canyon
and other sites in the Four Corners region
(ESCI 396)

Leader: Dr. Timothy H. Heaton

This is one of several rotating Spring Break field trips and is run every three years. This is the page for when it was last offered in 2012.

Field Trip Schedule

Friday, March 2, 2012

  • Meet at Akeley parking lot and pack vehicles 5:30 pm
  • Leave Vermillion 6:00 pm
  • Drive through Nebraska and Colorado (I-80/76/25)

    Saturday, March 3, 2012

  • Breakfast in Pueblo, Colorado
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
  • Dinner in Raton, New Mexico
  • Camp at Sugarite Canyon State Park, New Mexico

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

  • Hike summit of Capulin Volcano National Monument, New Mexico
  • Lunch in Sante Fe, New Mexico
  • Pass through Albuquerque, possible stops at volcanic sites along I-25 or I-40
  • Dinner in Grants, New Mexico
  • Explore lava tube cave in El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico
  • Camp at El Moro National Monument, New Mexico

    Monday, March 5, 2012

  • Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
  • Meteor Crater, Arizona
  • Dinner in Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Camp at Cinder Hills near Sunset Crater

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

  • Sunset Crater National Monument, Arizona
  • Wupatki National Monument, Arizona
  • Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
  • Visit Grand Canyon overlooks
  • Camp at Grand Canyon (showers)

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

  • Long day hike to bottom of Grand Canyon and back on the South Kaibab Trail
  • Camp at Grand Canyon (showers)

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

  • Drive through Monument Valley
  • Goosenecks of the San Juan State Park, Utah
  • Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Camp at Natural Bridges

    Friday, March 9, 2012

  • Lunch in Moab, Utah
  • Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky District, Utah
  • Arches National Park, Utah
  • Hike to Delicate Arch
  • Dinner in Moab, Utah
  • Camp at Colorado River Recreation Area, Utah

    Saturday, March 10, 2012

  • Colorado National Monument, Colorado
  • View Book Cliffs
  • Lunch in Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Drive east across Rocky Mountains (I-70)
  • Dinner in Denver, Colorado

    Sunday, March 11, 2012

  • Drive home to Vermillion (I-76/80)

    Other Useful Links

  • Rio Grande Rift
  • Grand Canyon Geology
  • The Grand Staircase
  • Bryce Canyon Geoogy
  • Geologic History of Southeastern Utah
  • Geology of Moab region, Utah

    Things to Bring

  • Warm sleeping bag
  • Tent (preferably one for every two people)
  • Sturdy hiking boots (properly broken in!)
  • Cold and mild weather clothing
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
  • Water bottles (two quarts total)
  • Day pack
  • Field notebook/pens/colored pencils
  • Flashlight or headlamp with batteries
  • Camera and film (batteries if needed)
  • Towel and shower supplies
  • Cup (other dishes & silverware provided)
  • Cash for food, showers, souvenirs ($50+)

    Emergency Phone Numbers

    Great Sand Dunes National Monument(719) 378-6399
    Sugarite Canyon State Park(505) 445-5607
    Capulin Volcano National Monument(505) 278-2201
    El Malpais National Monument(505) 285-4641
    El Moro National Monument(505) 783-4226
    Petrified Forest National Park(928) 524-6228
    Meteor Crater(928) 289-2362
    Grand Canyon National Park(928) 638-7804
    Natural Bridges National Monument(435) 692-1234
    Canyonlands National Park(435) 719-2313
    Arches National Park(435) 719-2299
    Moab BLM(435) 259-2100
    Colorado National Monument(970) 858-36l7
    These are phone numbers for park headquarters, and it is possible that our group could be reached in an emergency by calling these numbers. Do not call except in an emergency.


    Be sure to bring along any snacks, film, batteries, etc. that you need because we will not be stopping at stores along the way. We will stop in many visitors centers, and souvenirs are available there.

    A Geologic Highway Map of the Four Corners region will be available in the Earth Sciences Library and on the field trip. There is also a geologic map of the Grand Canyon in the hallway. There is an assignment to complete using these maps that is due as we depart for the trip.

    Those doing a presentation for 2 credits can make handouts using the department copier. Please prepare an outline as a minimum, and give a copy to Dr. Heaton before the trip. There will be a dry erase board available on the trip.

    Timothy H. Heaton: E-mail, Home page, Phone (605) 677-6122, FAX (605) 677-6121