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Death Valley Region Geology Guide

Grapevine/Northern Funeral Mountains (GF)

Sites GF1-2 can both be accessed off the paved highway from Death Valley to Beatty, Nevada. Chloride Cliff provides what is probably the best high vantage point (without hiking far) from which to view Death Valley and is a good place to see a branch of the Boundary Canyon detachment system. Titus Canyon is probably the best geologic side trip in the world. In this guide there are 10 stops listed of geologic interest in this canyon and they include a wide variety of features. The two roads to Chloride Cliff require four-wheel-drive (at least in one spot) and the long one-way road through Titus Canyon requires high clearance. Before visiting either locality, one should obtain Wright and Troxel (1993) and Miller and Wright (2004) for Chloride Cliff and Miller and Wright (2004) for Titus Canyon. Also, for Titus Canyon, Brandt (1992) is less technical. One should allow a full morning for the trip to Chloride Cliff and the better part of a day for Titus Canyon. Sites GF-3 and GF-4 can be reached directly by paved road and any vehicle all year.

    GF1. Chloride Cliff

    At the junction (10.9 miles from the highway), you cross the Boundary Canyon detachment and the steep climb up the hill is through the Johnnie formation, ...

    GF2. Titus Canyon

      a. Volcanic/White Pass

      En-route, you have driven over alluvial fan deposits of Quaternary age and once you entered the wash and low hills, you were traveling through ...

      b. Red Pass

      At the bottom of the upper reaches of Titantothere Canyon which you passed just before the long ascent to Red Pass, a skull of a Titanothere ...

      c. Leadfield

      There are indeed deposits of lead in the immediate vicinity but they are not of commercial concentration. ...

      d. Fold

      What appears to be an asymmetric syncline within the Bonanza King formation is actually an optical illusion. The rocks are all ...

      e. Klare Spring

      Like many springs in Death Valley, this one issues towards the surface here because of a fault. The springs have also produced the travertine ...

      f. Overturned Section

      This is the Titus Canyon anticline. The fossiliferous shale near the coordinates is the Cambrian Carrara ...

      g. Ripple Marks

      While ripple marks are common in sandstone and shale, they are less common in limestone. Oscillation ripples are symmetric and ...

      h. Double Fold

      Remember that everything you are looking at is upside down because of the overturned nature of the entire ...

      i. Megabreccia

      The term “megabreccia” implies a rock composed of very large angular fragments. The large gray fragments are composed of limestone and ...

      j. Canyon Mouth

      This is a good place to note that the size of an alluvial fan depends primarily upon the square miles of drainage basin above the ...

    GF3. Rhyolite

    The gold in these hills occurs in fissures and veins associated with calcite, quartz and pyrite in rhyolite tuff related to ...

    GF4. North-Central Death Valley Fault Zone

    From this point all the way through the north end of Death Valley, a series of pressure ridges along the fault zone occur at ...
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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - book store
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