Geology of the Okanogan Highlands 2011 - Intro

On August 6th, 2011, Ralph Dawes led a caravan tour highlighting the geology of the highlands. You can use this webpage to learn about what we saw, or even go on the tour on your own, using the information found here. 

The tour started at Lost Lake with an introduction to geology and the geologic history of the highlands.

Click here for the Highlands Geology Handout (678 KB)

Click here for the Route Map (272 KB)

Says Dawes, "I love learning, teaching, and sharing geological experiences because the planet we live on is, in its own way, a living, breathing entity, with its own distinctive characteristics and patterns, and its own history."

Born in Edmonds, WA, Ralph Dawes has a PhD in Geology at University of Washington. He is married to Cheryl Dawes, who happens to have a BS in Geology. They now live east of the Cascades and love it because the rocks are so much better exposed! Ralph Dawes teaches geology and other Earth sciences at Wenatchee Valley College in Wenatchee.

Dawes describes the event beforehand: "We will consider the exotic history of the older rocks of the Okanogan Highlands, which came on a moving plate from across an ancient ocean and then were buried and partly melted in the Earth as they became part of the North American continent. It will also give us chance to appreciate the amazing effects of the glaciation of the Highlands, moving ice, thousands of feet thick, which melted away not much more than 10,000 years ago and left the Highlands landscape sculpted away in some places and sprinkled with glacial droppings everywhere else. It is on this template that the modern lakes, streams, wetlands, fauna, and flora have established themselves and found their niches, and drawn all of their minerals and some of their energy. There will be lots of things to look at, think about, and make connections among as we explore its geology and how its geology connects with Earth history and other Earth systems."

If you would like to follow this tour on your own, start at the Lost Lake campground parking lot and if your vehicle has a trip meter, set it to "zero." Use the information on the following pages to conduct  your tour. Or, for an online tour, simply click on the pages below, which correspond with the stops.