Skeptic » Geology Tours » A Southern California Kaleidoscope: Palomar, Anza-Borrego, Salton Sea, and Joshua Tree

The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

section banner graphic

A Southern California Kaleidoscope:
Palomar, Anza-Borrego, Salton Sea, and Joshua Tree

Saturday January 15 to Monday January 17, 2011

JOIN US AS WE TRAVEL from Pasadena to Palomar Observatory for a personalized tour (weather permitting) of the world-class center of astronomical research that is owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology. We will get a behind-the-scenes tour (led by paleontologist George T. Jefferson) of the Anza-Borrego State Park Visitor’s Center and its outstanding fossil collections representing three million years of history.

troup carrier

California Overland Desert Excursion’s offroad vehicle.

On day two, we will travel [off road] in open-air jeeps and military troop-carriers on an approximately eight-hour desert adventure with California Overland Desert Excursion. Our exclusive Split Mountain tour rumbles up Fish Creek Wash to Split Mountain Gorge. Rock rises steeply on both sides exhibiting fascinating geologic features. Soon you will enter the insides of Split Mountain itself — the ancient torrents of Fish Creek have literally carved this mountain in half. You’ll feel dwarfed by this enormous slot canyon where massive rock walls tower impossibly above you.

Wind caves photo by Michael Gilmore

Wind Caves (photo by Michael Gilmore)

On day three, we will begin by visiting Obsidian Butte. Salton Buttes are four small volcanoes designated from southwest to northeast as Obsidian Butte, Rock Hill, Red Island, and Mullet Island. Obsidian Butte consists of a central dome of rhyolite surrounded on all sides by a single rhyolite flow. We will also see the Salton Sea geothermal field, which is the largest of three major geothermal energy production sites in the Salton Sea. Before leaving the area, we will continue to the Salton Sea State Recreation Area Visitor’s Center. We will then travel to Joshua Tree National Park. Emphasis will be on the junction of three of California’s ecosystems: the Colorado Desert, the Mojave Desert and, and the the Little San Bernardino Mountains.

For trip highlights and photographs, be sure to read Michael Shermer’s post about this particular trip.

READ the blog post
about this tour

Tour package includes charter bus, 2 nights at a hotel with breakfast, picnic lunch all 3 days, snacks and water, lectures by various experts, park admission, off road transportation, and a guide booklet. Your trip fee also includes a tax deductible $150 donation to the Skeptics Society. You are on your own for evening meals. There are several nice restaurants within short walking distance of the hotel.

get eSkeptic
our free newsletter

Science in your inbox every Wednesday!

eSkeptic is our free email newsletter, delivered once a week. In it, you’ll receive: fascinating articles, announcements, podcasts, book reviews, and more…

Popular Articles

Here are the articles that people have been sharing over the last few days.

Giving via PayPal

Did you know that you can support the work of the Skeptics Society by donating to us via PayPal or eBay? You can make a one-time or recurring donation to the Skeptics Society via the PayPal Giving Fund, or favourite us on eBay Giving Works, and specify the percentage of your eBay sales that you’d like to donate to us. Your donations directly support the work of your Skeptics Society.

Donate with PayPal
Favorite us on eBay

Help the
Skeptics Society
at no cost to you!

Shop at Amazon using our affiliate links, and the Skeptics Society will receive a small commission from your purchase.

FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall, M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods. The lectures each range from 32 to 45 minutes.

FREE PDF Download

The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

FREE PDF Download

Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and why do they tend to proliferate? Why does belief in one conspiracy correlate to belief in others? What are the triggers of belief, and how does group identity factor into it? How can one tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

FREE PDF Download

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Do you know someone who has had a mind altering experience? If so, you know how compelling they can be. They are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

FREE PDF Download

Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

Copyright © 1992–2016. All rights reserved. The Skeptics Society | P.O. Box 338 | Altadena, CA, 91001 | 1-626-794-3119. Privacy Policy.