Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the Middle Rocky Mountains

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Start point

Casper, Wyoming

End point

Salt Lake City, Utah


Wyoming 120, Wyoming 296, U.S. 212

Total distance

152.8 miles



This trip is designed to show participants the granite-cored Laramide (Late Cretaceous-earliest Eocene) mountain ranges in the middle Rocky Mountains, and their various stages of burial by Cenozoic deposits and subsequent Quaternary exhumation. Mountain-flank structures involving Precambrian, Paleozoic, and Mesozoic rocks, the classic Heart Mountain detachment fault complex, and the rootless overthrust mountain ranges of the Wyoming-Utah-Idaho thrust belt are traversed.

The features listed below are limited to those in Montana and NW Wyoming (in or near Yellowstone National Park).

Key Lithologic Features

  • Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Tertiary stratigraphy in the area of the Heart Mountain detachment
  • Stratigraphy of east margin of Beartooth Mountains
  • Eocene volcanics (Absaroka volcanic field)
  • Soda Butte travertine cone
  • travertine terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs
  • volcanic rocks associated with Yellowstone caldera
  • Quake Lake landslide deposits


  • Heart Mountain detachment fault
  • Yellowstone caldera


  • Dead Indian Pass
  • Clark Fork Canyon
  • Beartooth Plateau / Beartooth Mountains
  • Beartooth Pass
  • Bearthooth Butte

Other Features

  • Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Norris Geyser Basin


Love, J.D., 1989, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the Middle Rocky Mountains : 28th International Geological Congress, Field Trip Guidebook T328: Washington, D.C., American Geophysical Union, 93 p.


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