Owyhee Geology Field Trip Series

Learn about the Owyhee’s unique geological history

The Owyhee is a geologist’s (and aspiring geologist’s) dream landscape. It’s incredibly diverse, containing geologic formations in the billions of years near the top of the watershed to geologically young formations only tens of millions of years old. There is a fascinating amount of information to explore, and local geologist Sammy Castonguay (M.Sc. Geological Sciences) is your guide to cracking the mystery wide open.

Sammy, a trained field geologist and college instructor, initially piloted this program as a short weekend trip. Due to increased interest and such geological diversity in the area, it has expanded into a 10-part series.

Participants are welcome to come on select trips or participate in every day outing—each lecture is able to stand alone. The content covers plenty of basics, so no experience is necessary. We’ll make firsthand scientific observations, delve into interpretation, and utilize previous mapping efforts to supplement our findings.


These trips are great for novices and experts alike—rockhounds, geologic history fans, and anyone age 12 and up is more than welcome to attend. At the end of the series, our trip leader Sammy will give a public presentation to summarize the trips.

What to wear:

  • Hiking clothes (comfortable, flexible clothing)

  • Hiking boots or sturdy trail shoes

  • Sunhat & sunglasses

  • Rain jacket

  • Warm jacket, hat, gloves


  • Field trip guide with map and descriptions

  • Geologic fun, educational information

  • Navigational lead 

What to bring: 

  • Day backpack

  • Water bottle & plenty of water 

  • Lunch 

  • Notebook, clipboard, pencils/pens

  • Rock hammer

  • Hand lens

  • Headlamp

  • Camera/phone

  • Prescription medications

  • Geologic gear (optional)

  • Hiking poles (optional)


Independence Mountains

Sat & Sun, September 25–26, 2021
6PM–3PM (next day) MDT

Meeting point

Jacks Creek Campground

Note: This is an overnight trip. Please plan accordingly. If you need help, please get in touch with us

Mailing address:

PO Box 96

Ontario, OR 97914

Physical address:

790 SW 3rd Ave

Ontario, OR 97914

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Friends of the Owyhee is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. EIN/Tax ID number 83-2527575.  

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