Jerome (Idaho)
Floods, Fossils and Fissures — Geology of the Snake River Plain
Rock out with geologists in the Snake River Plain, where you’ll hike City of Rocks National Reserve, explore the Hagerman Fossil Beds and discover many other unique natural wonders!
Not yet reviewed
Program No. 21598RJ
7 days
Starts at
Getting There
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At a Glance

Unearth the geological wonders of Idaho’s Snake River Plain, a land shaped by volcanic eruptions and mega-floods among other powerful forces of nature. Marvel at Shoshone Falls, which plummets from a height of 212 feet — 45 feet taller than Niagara Falls. Discover dramatic formations at City of Rocks National Reserve. Explore the visitor's center of the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument to look at fossils and replicas. Hear various explanations for the still unsolved mystery of the Hagerman horse skeletons, deposited in a single spot over 3 million years ago. Get a firsthand overview of the fossil beds and nearby areas from a site along the Oregon Trail. While on a whitewater rafting trip, learn the exciting history of the lava flows damming the river, the clays deposited in the lake and the Bliss Landslide. Walk the lava fields of Craters of the Moon National Monument, formed by major eruptions which occurred as recently as 2000 years ago, to find lava caves, cinder cones and more. Learn how Box Canyon was formed by a mega-flood and examine other geological evidence of flooding. All of this is used to piece together the exciting geological and paleontological story of a unique landscape.
Activity Level
Walking up to two miles on one day; getting in and out of vans several times a day, and walking up to a couple hundred yards on most days.
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Discover lava flows, lava caves, cinder cones and more evidence of eruptions at Craters of the Moon National Monument.
  • Examine the findings of the paleontological research at the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument.
  • Join an expert river guide for an exciting rafting excursion on the Snake River.
Featured Expert
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Shawn Wilsey
A professor of geology at the College of Southern Idaho, Shawn Wilsey loves to explore the geology of western U.S. After obtaining a bachelor’s in geology at Weber State University and a master’s at Northern Arizona University, Shawn worked as a hydrogeologist and professor at several community colleges. He became a licensed professional geologist in 2007, and will offer Road Scholar participants a look into the geologic forces that have shaped the south central Idaho region.
Shawn Wilsey
Suggested Reading List
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