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The Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce: A Geologic Tour of the Grand Staircase

Weekend Program

Sunday, February 21, 2021 - 6:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1NV045
$25 - Member
$30 - Non-Member
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Grand Canyon National Park


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.


Join geologist Kirt Kempter on a geologic exploration of three iconic national parks situated on the Colorado Plateau. Begin at the Grand Canyon, where a mile-thick package of sedimentary rocks from the Paleozoic Era are strikingly exposed from the canyon’s rim to bottom. Each layer has a story to tell, revealing ancient oceans, rivers, and sand dunes that reflect drastically changing environments through geologic time.

From there, head north to Zion and Bryce National Parks, traveling through progressively younger strata that are referred to as the Grand Staircase, a geologic stepladder of colored cliffs with intervening vegetated plateaus. Kempter includes maps, field photos, and Google Earth flyovers to enhance the experience and illustrate geologic concepts and interpretations as he leads a journey that examines how the spectacular landscapes seen by today’s vistors in the Colorado Plateau were shaped across time.


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  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
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Inside Science

This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.