Written by a career geologist with decades of experience in the field, North America’s Natural Wonders provides everything the reader needs to understand the landscape. It guides readers through the most iconic, geologically significant scenery in North America, points out features of interest, explains what they are seeing, and describes how these features came to be.

Presented as classic excursions to some of the best-known natural wonders on the continent, Volume I focuses primarily on Western North America, including the Canadian Rockies, California, the Southwest, Great Basin, and Tetons-Yellowstone Country. The trips detailed in this volume include stops at quintessential features, such as the glaciers and mountains of Banff National Park, Yosemite, the vineyards of Napa Valley, the California goldfields, the Grand Canyon, numerous parks in Utah, the geysers and hot springs of Yellowstone National Park, as well as many others. It also features discussions of lesser-known but equally interesting geologic formations and important information on accessing these sites.


  • Addresses issues of interest, such as fossils, earthquakes, mineral sites, mining, and oil fields
  • Lavishly illustrated with numerous colorful maps and breathtaking geological landscapes and their various features

These five self-guided tours explain to the curious layman, student, and geologist what they are seeing when they look at a roadcut or a quarry and enhances the experience far beyond simple sightseeing.

chapter 1|74 pages

Canadian Rockies Transect

Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, to the Rocky Mountain Trench at Golden, British Columbia

chapter 2|82 pages

Continental Margin Transect

Marin Headlands to Devils Postpile, California

chapter 3|114 pages

Basin-and-Range and Colorado Plateau

Owens Valley, California, to Grand Junction, Colorado

chapter 4|59 pages


Reno, Nevada to Salt Lake City, Utah

chapter 5|68 pages

Snake River Volcanics to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Hotspot

Twin Falls, Idaho to Cody, Wyoming