Geologic Hiking Guides (Geology Jaunts) and SurveyNotes Articles

Read our latest geologic hiking guide and Informative Survey Notes Articles. 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!

The Virgin River Narrows (how far is it? geology of?)

What is the Virgin River Narrows? The Narrows is the narrowest section of Zion Canyon. It is an 18 mile gorge or canyon filled by the Virgin River just upstream from the part of Zion where the roads and trails end. This gorge, with walls a thousand feet tall and the river sometimes just twenty […]

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 […]

Why Are There So Many Arches in Utah?

Utah’s sandstone units tend to be exposed on the flanks of large gentle uplifts, which because these brittle layers are sandwiched between ductile shale …

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.


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.