Geology of the Northern Sierra and Southern Cascades

May 9, 2015

In celebration of Lassen Feather River History Month, Sierra Institute’s Center of Forestry is offering an educational tour focused on the geology of the Northern Sierra Nevada, specifically the Feather River Canyon area.

Bridget Tracy, an environmental studies lecturer at Feather River College, will lead this tour down Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon to view the unique geology of this area. We’ll make various stops along the way to see the various rock formations, learn about historical values of these formations, and more. We will explore the geologic evolution of the Northern Sierra Nevada/Southern Cascades over the past 300-million years and cover a wide range of topics from plate tectonics and basic rock types, to gold mineralization and gold recovery, along with river mechanics and water in California. You’ll see examples of meta-sedimentary and meta-volcanic rock, and some fantastic and colorful rock formations created over millions of years through various geological forces. You’ll learn the difference between brittle and ductile deformations and see examples of both. We’ll visit the Melones Fault, which is considered mainly responsible for gold in California, and also see one of the last stamp mills in the Northern Sierra while learning a bit about California’s gold mining legacy. Finally, on our way back we’ll detour to Highway 89 and stop at Soda Rock, also known as Ch’ichy’yam-bam to the Maidu.

Morning refreshments, lunch, and bus transportation are provided as part of the tour, which begins at 9:00am and concludes no later than 3:00pm. Cost is $50 per person.

Visit our website at for more information on our tours, and on all our programs.



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Latitude: 40.104849 Longitude: -120.859942 Elevation: 3557 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Sharon Roberts

How to Participate

To reserve your space, or receive information via email, please contact Camille Swezy at

530.284.1022, or email at

Dates and Times

May 9th, 2015  9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Appropriate Ages

12 and up

ADA Accessibility Notes

Transportation is ADA Accessible

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