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Field Trips

2015 SDAG Field Trip - Western Salton Trough Regional Tectonics,
Coyote Mountains and Vicinity

November 6 - 8, 2015

2015 field trip area

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On this field trip we will explore the complex geologic history of the western Salton Trough as expressed in the Coyote Mountains north of Ocotillo. Paleozoic miogeoclinal metamorphic rocks, coarse-grained Mesozoic intrusive rocks, and Cenozoic sedimentary rocks and fanglomerates have been deformed by major faulting. Complex structure challenges interpretation. We seek to examine revealing outcrops that help to illustrate the stratigraphy, structure, and regional geology in this area. We will also consider the mineral potential, tectonics of the region, and resulting landforms.


Friday, November 6: Meet at the Community Park on S2, 2.2 miles northwest of Ocotillo. Leave at 10:30 am for an OPTIONAL hike in the Domelands area or Fossil Canyon. The long hike to the Domelands will be on and off trails on rugged terrain at least 6 miles long, and may take up to 6 hours to complete. The Fossil Canyon hike will be about 2 miles long take up to 4 hours and will keep to relatively low relief areas. Check in will be open in the evening by 5pm (approximate sunset). No meals provided on Friday.

Saturday, November 7: Meet at Ocotillo Community Park. Check in starts at 6:00 am. After a continental breakfast, we will travel by car caravan to see the geologic and tectonic features of the southern and eastern flanks of the Coyote Mountains. Our campsite will be at the Ocotillo Community Park. Although there are no showers, there are separate bathroom facilities and a kitchen large room in the community center building.

There will be two alternate field trip routes on Saturday. Alternative 1 (High Road): One will travel to the top of the Coyote Mountains via Painted Gorge High Road and out to an overlook above Fossil Canyon. This alternative will be over very rugged roads that require high-ground clearance 4WD vehicles. Due to the short daylight hours in November, people going on this will need to meet at the Painted Gorge Kiosk by 7:30 am. Alternative 2 (Low Road): The other field trip route will be along the southern and eastern flanks of the Coyote Mountains on "typical" dirt roads of the backcountry. We will look at features of the Elsinore fault zone and the Paleozoic to Quaternary geologic units making up the Coyote Mountains.

Sunday, November 8: After a full breakfast in camp, we will depart the Ocotillo Community Park camp site. There will be two alternate field trip routes on Sunday. Alternative 1 (Low Road): This field trip route will include a stop (Rockwell) at a fault trench along the Painted Gorge Wash fault and partially retrace the "low road" route of Alternative 2 of Saturday. Lunch will be provided on the route. The last stop will wrap up around 3 pm, well before sunset. Those who need to depart early have the option to break away around noon. Alternative 2 (High Road): This field trip route will retrace the "high road" route of Alternative 1 of Saturday. With an early start, the group will be back down the mountain by 3pm. A bag lunch will be provided. There will be no option for early departure.

The Community Park will be available for camping Sunday night. No meals are provided after Sunday lunch.

Another High Road opportunity will be available on Saturday, November 14, led by George Morgan. This opportunity is self-supported. No meals, beverages, or other logistical services will be provided by SDAG.
field trip

All meals are provided; no need to bring cooking equipment for camping. Please bring tent, sleeping bag, and chair.
COST: $125 per person, $110 for SDAG members, and $50 for students. Fee includes guidebook, camping, five meals, snacks, and beverages. Fees are non-refundable. All ages welcome.

Questions? Contact SDAG Vice President Randy Wagner: (760) 877-3490

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