Mountain Highs and Valley Lows:  An Accessible Introduction to the Geology of Pikes Peak and the Colorado Springs Area

Snow-covered Pikes Peak rises in the distance behind the giant vertical red slabs of rock at Garden of the Gods

Pike’s Peak rises behind the spectacular rock formations at Garden of the Gods.


This field trip to the Colorado Springs area will visit accessible stops that will allow participants to gain an understanding of Colorado Front Range geology, structure, and tectonism. The first day will include a stop at Seven Falls to examine joints, fractures and the waterfall that exploits those features to cut through the uplifted Pikes Peak batholith. The second day will include a morning study of Garden of the Gods, a spectacular series of deformed sedimentary units. Garden of the Garden has paved paths as well as off-path “bouldering” trails. Participants will make observations about deformation of strata and faulting, utilizing technology to enhance learning and enable collaboration from more and less accessible units across the park. The final stop will be the Summit House on Pikes Peak, where expansive views of the Front Range will provide a backdrop for a synthesis of the trip’s observations, and a discussion of regional structure and tectonics.

This is a 1.5 day field trip. It departs the Denver Convention Center on Wednesday October 12, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. (a late-departure van can be available if field trip attendees are presenting at the conference at a time that conflicts with departure time on Wed). If you are accepted to participate, you must make arrangements to arrive at the Portland Convention Center no later than 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12th . We will return directly to the convention center around 6:00pm the following day; Thursday October 13.

This trip is sponsored by the International Association for Geoscience Diversity (, and is offered at no cost to participants. Lodging and all field trip locations are wheelchair accessible. Other accommodations, such as ASL interpreters will be provided upon request. Preference is given to those with disabilities (which is why we require an application form), but all are welcome. Our trips are designed for anyone who wants to see some great geology in an inclusive, accessible format. For this year, preference will also be given to people who were accepted to attend the cancelled field trip at the Fall 2021 meeting in Portland.


Wednesday Oct 12th

2:00 p.m.* Depart the Denver Convention Center  (*late-departure transportation can be arranged if field trip attendees are presenting at the conference during or after departure time).

3:30 p.m. – 5:30p.m. Seven Falls & Cheyanne Canyon.

6:00 p.m. Dinner (we will coordinate reservations or catering with a local restaurant that offers options for a range of dietary considerations and work with participants to ensure we have a dinner option for everyone)

Thursday Oct 13th

8:00 a.m. Morning meeting at hotel.

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 pm Geologic exploration of Garden of the Gods.

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Picnic lunch (provided) and chat in Bergstrom Park.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Drive up the Pikes Peak Highway.

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Pikes Peak Summit House Visitor Center and surrounding area.

6:00 p.m. Estimated return time back to the convention center.


We will notify applicants by September 1st if they have a spot reserved on the field trip. We know this can be inconvenient, but we feel strongly about ensuring we have plenty of spots for geoscientists with disabilities first and foremost. An application process is the best way to do that.

The Application window for this trip is closed and acceptance emails have been sent to participants.


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©2024 IAGD. The IAGD is a 501c3, volunteer-driven, non-profit organization.

Disclaimer: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0939645. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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