Geologic Hiking Guides (Geology Jaunts)

Read our latest geologic hiking guide. This section will house many of our geologic hiking guides, where geologists and geology enthusiasts can come to find hiking guides for many of the popular trails and hikes in Utah which showcase spectacular or noteworthy geology!

Iceland and Hawaii are great modern examples of the shield volcanoes which have periodically erupted in Utah over the last 15 million years.

Utah’s Three Types of Volcanoes

Perhaps because it is covered in detail in Grade School and Middle School curriculum, one of the most asked geologic questions I hear from youth has to do with differentiating between the three types of volcanoes.   Three Main Types of Volcanoes* The three main types of volcanoes differ in shape, size, and make-up; the […]

“The Pit of Despair” in Poe Canyon, also known as "smiling cricket,” is a difficult to traverse keeper pothole in the Waterpocket Fold south of Capitol Reef National Park.

Keeper Potholes & How They Are Formed

Keeper potholes are found in slot canyons. In the recent decades “slot” canyoneering has become a major sport, and very few areas of the world have nearly the number or diversity of slot canyons as southern Utah. People come from all over the world to descend slot canyons of varying difficulty in places such as Zion National Park, Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park, the San Rafael Swell, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Cascade Falls just below the cave opening, forming the headwaters of the North Fork of the Virgin River.


Nestled in the northwestern corner of Kane County is a geologically unique feature that receives relatively few visitors. Although most people in Utah have seen caves and waterfalls, it is peculiar for a waterfall to emerge from a cave system. Cascade Falls does just that, as an underground river emerges from a deep cave system and cascades down a steep cliff face.