Taxonomy term

travels in geology

Getting There and Getting Around Nevada

Getting to Lake Tahoe from the major airports in Sacramento, Calif., and Reno, Nev., is fairly easy. From Sacramento, it is about a two-hour drive along scenic Interstate 80 or U.S. 50. Interstate 80, which takes visitors to the northern part of Lake Tahoe, is a bit of a longer but easier drive and it passes the Donner Memorial State Park. The park — which commemorates the emigrants from the East to California in the mid-1800s, including the famed Donner Party, many of whom perished in the winter of 1846-1847 — offers recreational opportunities in the summer and winter. U.S. 50 is a slightly shorter but windier drive that goes through California gold country and ends up at South Lake Tahoe, a city with lots of casinos and ample beaches and recreational activities. From Reno, Lake Tahoe can be reached in less than an hour via Interstate 80 and the Mount Rose Highway. All roads to Lake Tahoe are open year round, with only temporary closures during times of very heavy rain or snowfall. A few local public side roads such as Fallen Leaf Lake Road and Blackwood Canyon Roads are not plowed in the winter.

 
06 Aug 2012

Travels in Geology: Lake Tahoe Jewel of the Sierra Nevada

With a rich geological and cultural history, and ample hiking, camping and sightseeing opportunities, Lake Tahoe is one of most popular vacation destinations in the United States. The lake straddles the California-Nevada border at an elevation of 1,900 meters, occupying an intermontane basin rimmed by the towering peaks of the Sierra Nevada, including the two highest peaks in the basin, Freel Peak and Jobs Sister, each with an elevation of approximately 3,300 meters. 

06 Aug 2012

Off the beaten path in the north of Iceland

Although many of Iceland’s best-known geologic features are in the south — on the southwest Reykjanes peninsula, near Keflavik airport and the capital city of Reykjavik, and along the southern coast Ring Road — the north shouldn’t be overlooked. Without entering the interior highlands, which often requires four-wheel-drive, one can skirt the border of Vatnajökull National Park to take in an array of sights from geothermal to glacial.

 
05 Jul 2012

Travels in Geology: Trapped by geology in Iceland with flights grounded by volcanic ash, one writer seeks out the island's geologic wonders

On a recent trip to Iceland, my wife and I learned a central fact of life while traveling around this isolated island country: We could never escape the geology. We quickly learned to be wary of hot water taps because the water — sourced directly from geothermal hot springs — came out at scalding temperatures. At a hostel in the small town of Laugarvatn, we more comfortably exploited this phenomenon by soaking in a hot pot — similar to one built by one of Iceland’s most famous early citizens, the 12th-century writer Snorri Sturluson, which you can still visit. We also ate delicious tomatoes grown in greenhouses heated by Iceland’s largest thermal spring, which gushes 180 liters of boiling water every second.

05 Jul 2012

Travels in Geology: Northeastern Australia's Atherton Tablelands young volcanoes, waterfalls and rainforest near the Great Barrier Reef

Just one breathtaking hour’s drive from Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef on the coast of Queensland, in northeastern Australia, the scenic Atherton Tablelands, with their young volcanoes, dramatic waterfalls and lush rainforest, rise a thousand meters above the humid coastal plain. On a leisurely day trip you can circumnavigate this nearly flat plateau, soaking up the scenery formed by some of the continent’s youngest volcanoes, ambling through threatened rainforest ecosystems, and sampling exotic tropical produce.

05 Jun 2012

Getting There and Getting Around Cairns

Most visitors fly to Cairns, a tourist-oriented city of 124,000 people with a huge range of restaurants, services and accommodations, including two campgrounds. Several companies run bus tours from Cairns to the Tablelands, but it’s most convenient to rent a car from one of the many airport rental agencies and drive yourself. Just remember to drive on the left side of the road.

 
05 Jun 2012

Getting There and Getting Around Greece

Reaching Santorini by one of the regular domestic or chartered international flights is convenient, but to appreciate fully the dramatic caldera, we recommend arriving by slow ferry (with observation decks). Several are available each day from Athens’ port, Piraeus, as well as more sporadically from other islands. Santorini is very compact, so you can stay on any coast and still see all of the attractions. Although there are established bus routes, the most convenient way to explore the island is by renting a car, motorbike or ATV in any of the main towns.

 
05 May 2012

Travels in Geology: Santorini: Dangerous volcano, postcard-perfect jewel of the Aegean

Santorini is an idyllic Greek isle renowned for its sensational sunsets, colorful beaches, and blue-domed, whitewashed buildings clinging to sheer, dark cliffs. Located in the Aegean Sea, this unique destination is part of a circular archipelago of volcanic islands that were joined together in a single land mass until about 1600 B.C., when it was ripped apart in one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history.

05 May 2012

Travels in Geology: Chile: Exploring the archaeology, volcanoes and hot springs of the northern Atacama Desert

Mention the Atacama Desert and many people likely imagine an ocean of sand where rain never falls and life faces insurmountably hostile conditions. This is, after all, where scientists go to study Mars. Although some regions of the Atacama are indeed stark and barren, the northern section of this vast desert, which stretches approximately 965 kilometers along the western edge of Chile, contains diverse ecosystems, a rich archaeological history and, of course, intriguing geologic features. 

05 Apr 2012

Getting There and Getting Around Chile

You can arrive in Arica through a few different channels. The easiest is to fly to Santiago and then Arica with a short stop in Iquique; there are daily flights on LanChile and Sky Airlines. A more adventurous option is to fly into Tacna, Peru, and take either a “collective,” or shared ride, a taxi or the Ferrocarril Tacna-Arica train south to Arica.

 
05 Apr 2012

Pages