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The Geology of Washington, DC

In-person Tour

Weekend Tour

Saturday, November 13, 2021 - 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. ET
Code: 1NSA10
Select Your Tickets
$55 - Member
$65 - Non-Member

Materials for this program

  1. COVID-19 Guidance for In-Person Tours
  2. Handout

Rock Creek Park

Please Note: This tour is conducted in person and limited to 20 registrants. CDC and Smithsonian Covid-19 guidelines in effect at the time of the program will be followed. Updates will be posted to SmithsonianAssociates.org. Protocols such as distanced seating, mask mandate, and/or proof of vaccination may be required. Read the COVID requirements prior to registration.

Washington D.C.'s bedrock tells a deep time tale of oceanic sedimentation, intense mountain-building, violent shearing deep in the Earth, uplift, erosion, deposition of river gravels, and recent faulting with surprising implications. Join geologist Callan Bentley at the National Zoo and adjacent neighborhoods for a walking tour of key outcrops that illustrate chapters in this history before history.

This 3-hour version covers approximately 1 mile of walking distance, mainly on paved paths with a brief 25-foot excursion onto a rough, rocky hillside.

Other Date Options

General Information

  • The tour is 3 hours in length.
  • Tour meets at the Capital Bikeshare rack across from the Rock Creek/Harvard Bridge entrance to the National Zoo.
  • Paid parking ($25) may be available at the lower Zoo parking lots, as well as street parking on Harvard Street and Adams Mill Road but is not guaranteed. Metro or rideshare recommended.
  • None of the areas on the tour offer shelter from the sun or weather, so dress appropriately for the day’s forecast. 
  • Alternate forms of transportation or Metro or rideshare recommended.

Inside Science

Tour meets at Capital Bikeshare rack
across from the Rock Creek/Harvard Bridge
entrance to the National Zoo