ABSTRACT

Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) in north-central Colorado exhibits a number of spectacular geologic features that exemplify geologic timescales and the breadth and power of geologic processes. Combined with the extensive system of trails, these features allow excellent access to effective Earth-science educational opportunities. In July 2015, to help celebrate the centennial of RMNP, the author guided a geology-based educational hike for the public on two occasions. The hiking route is approximately 15 km (~9.3 mi) round-trip and traverses through primarily Proterozoic metamorphic and igneous rocks that comprise the majority of bedrock in RMNP. In addition to crystalline bedrock, the route also incorporated observation of numerous glacial features and discussion of area hydrology and anthropogenic impacts. A post-instructional survey indicates that the route and features observed helped to increase public awareness of geologic processes and sense of connection with the landscape. The route, although considered strenuous by the National Park Service, could be utilized for public outreach and geologic education for a wide variety of user groups.

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