PEEC Offers Geology Tour Of Mount Taylor

Mount Taylor has a fascinating geologic story, one that can be told by Fraser and Cathy Goff. Photo by Fraser Goff

PEEC News:

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is offering a special overnight tour June 17-18 of the Mount Taylor region. The tour will focus on the geology of the area, and is suitable for geologists and non-geologists alike. Space is limited for this trip.

Geologists Fraser and Cathy Goff will lead the tour, which will include the earth science and volcanology of Mount Taylor and surrounding areas. There will be various stops along the drive to Mount Taylor on the first day, some of which will highlight rocks with interesting mineralogy and textures. There are no collecting restrictions, so bring your rock hammer!

The second day will feature a trip to the summit. Mount Taylor forms a broad conical highland cresting at an elevation of 11,301 feet and is surrounded by several lava-capped mesas at elevations of roughly 8,000 feet. Participants will be responsible for carpooling or driving themselves, and a block of hotel rooms have been reserved for the group in Grants.

Fraser Goff is the author of  “Valles Caldera: A Geologic History.”  Goff worked 26 years with Los Alamos National Laboratory. He was chief scientist and principal investigator on three high-temperature scientific wells in the Valles Caldera, and has worked on about 40 geothermal systems and 15 active volcanoes worldwide during his career.

Cathy Goff (formerly Cathy Janik of the US Geological Survey) is also an accomplished geologist/geochemist and has worked on geothermal and volcanic projects throughout the western USA, and in Alaska, Hawaii, Latin America, Italy, and Japan. More recently (2007 to 2016), the Goffs worked for the New Mexico State Map Program and helped produce the new geologic map of Mount Taylor volcano.

Registration is required at, where more details about the trip are also available. The cost is $110 for PEEC members and $130 for members, in addition to no-host meals and hotel.

PEEC was founded in 2000 to serve the community of Los Alamos. PEEC operates the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road, holds regular programs and events, and hosts a number of interest groups from birding to hiking to butterfly watching. Annual memberships start at $35. To learn more, visit