USGS Logo Geological Survey Bulletin 612
Guidebook of the Western United States: Part B



Principal Divisions of Geologic Time




References cited

Glossary of Geologic Terms

Index of Railroad Stations



For the convenience of the traveler the sheets of the route map are so folded and placed that he can unfold them one by one and keep each one in view while he is reading the text relating to it. A reference in parentheses is given in the text at each point where a new sheet should be unfolded.


1. Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Ames, Nebr
2. North Bend to Clarke, Nebr
3. Thummel to Buda, Nebr
4. Kearney to Gothenburg, Nebr
5. Vroman to Dexter, Nebr
6. Paxton to Ralton, Nebr
7. Chappell to Owasco, Nebr
8. Kimball, Nebr., to Archer, Wyo
9. Cheyenne to Harper, Wyo
10. Harper to Fort Steele, Wyo
11. Lahkota to Red Desert, Wyo
12. Hillside to Rock Springs, Wyo
13. Kanda to Carter, Wyo
14. Antelope, Wyo., to Devils Slide, Utah
15. Morgan to Midlake, Utah
15A. Ogden, Utah, to Weston, Idaho
15B. Dayton to Pocatello, Idaho
15C. Tyhee to Winder, Idaho
15D. Rexburg, Idaho, to Yellowstone, Mont
16. Rambo to Umbria Junction, Utah
17. Umbria Junction, Utah, to Alazon, Nev
18. Tulasco to Palisade, Nev
19. Gerald to Comus, Nev
20. Preble to Zola, Nev
21. Nenzel to Luva, Nev
22. Fernley, Nev., to Summit, Cal
23. Soda Springs to Roseville, Cal
24. Antelope to Port Costa, Cal
25. Port Costa to San Francisco, Cal



I. Relief map showing surface features of the western part of the United States

II. Animals that lived in central North America in Pliocene and Pleistocene time: A, Saber-toothed tiger and giant wolves on the carcass of a Pleistocene elephant; B, Elephants; C, Glyptodonts; D, Musk ox; E, Homed gophers

III. The plains of Nebraska: A, Fifty years ago; B, Now covered with corn; C, When buffalo roamed over them; D, Supporting herds of domestic cattle

IV. A, B, Marine fossils of Cretaceous age; C, Carboniferous forest

V. Animals that lived in central North America in Cretaceous time: A, Skeleton of the head of Hesperornis; B, Restoration of a mosasaur; C,. Restoration of a pterodactyl

VI. Rocks of Miocene age and restorations of animals that lived in North America during the Miocene epoch: A, Short-limbed rhinoceros, known as Teleoceras; B, Miocene mastodon and Pleistocene elephant; C, Moropus elastus; D, A four-horned deer; E, Gigantic giraffe-camel; F, Miocene beds (Arikaree formation) resting unconformably on Oligocene beds (Brule clay) in Pawnee Buttes, Colo

VII. Rocks of Oligocene age and restorations of animals that lived in central North America during the Oligocene epoch: A, Jail rock, north of Sidney, in western Nebraska; B, An American rhinoceros; C, "Giant pigs"; D, Titanotheres; E, Protoceras celer

VIII. A, View near Dale Creek station, Wyo., showing characteristic weathering of the Sherman granite; B, Small "soda lake" on the plain near Laramie, Wyo

IX. Natural monuments on the plain near Red Buttes, Wyo., eroded from red sandstone of the Casper formation

X. A, An armored dinosaur (Stegosaurus); B, A carnivorous dinosaur (Allosaurus) preying on one of the herbivorous dinosaurs

XI. A, A horned toad, a modern lizard that is armed like some of the ancient dinosaurs; B, The last of the dinosaurs (Triceratops)

XII. A, Platte River at Fort Steele, Wyo.; B, Elk Mountain the north end of the Medicine Bow range

XIII. A, Gap in the Cambrian quartzite through which the westbound tourist passes after leaving Rawlins, Wyo.; B, Characteristic view of the Red Desert

XIV. A, Table Rock, near Bitter Creek, Wyo.; B, Characteristic view of the north wall of the canyon through which the tourist passes near Point of Rocks, Wyo

XV. A, Coal-bearing sandstone of the Mesaverde formation; B, Transportation, old and new; C, Near view of White Mountain

XVI. Major J. W. Powell

XVII. A, Green River City, Wyo., as seen from Castle Rock; B, Natural monuments west of Castle Rock

XVIII. A, "Fish Cut," west of Green River City, Wyo.; B, Bluffs of the Green River formation near Green River City, Wyo

XIX. Fossils from the Green River formation: A, Fossil fish; B, Fossil plant

XX. A, A creodont, an ancient doglike animal, one of the ancestors of the carnivorous mammals of to-day; B, Eobasileus, one of the types of animals that became extinct ages ago

XXI. A, Geologic features seen from point south of Evanston, Wyo.; B, Details of prominent hill at left of view shown in A

XXII. A, "Steamboat Rock," in Echo Canyon, Utah; B, "The Narrows," in Echo Canyon, Utah

XXIII. A, North wall of Echo Canyon, Utah, at its junction with Weber Canyon; B, Pulpit Rock at Echo, Utah

XXIV. A, The Witches, near Echo, Utah, as seen from the train; B, Side view showing, on the butte to the right, the "Witch's Cap"

XXV. A, View of the valley of Weber River from Witches Rocks; B, The Devil's Slide

XXVI. A, Z-shaped folds near east end of Ogden Canyon; B, Recent fault scarp at the mouth of Ogden Canyon

XXVII. View in Ogden Canyon below The Narrows

XXVIII. A, West front of Wasatch Range at Ogden, Utah; B, Diagram showing geology of mountain masses in A

XXIX. A, Lake Bonneville shore line at Brigham, Utah; B, Cambrian quartzite resting on Archean gneiss near Willard; Utah

XXX. A, "The Gates" of Bear River; B, East Butte, Idaho

XXXI. Red Rock Pass and the outlet channel of Lake Bonneville

XXXII. Upper falls, Henrys Fork of Snake River

XXXIII. Lower falls, Henrys Fork of Snake River

XXXIV. View eastward along the Lucin cut-off across the west arm of Great Salt Lake

XXXV. Palisade Canyon, Nev

XXXVI. A, Snow on the north end of the Humboldt Mountains; B, Hot spring near Elko, Nev

XXXVII. Channel of Humboldt River near Rye Patch, Nev

XXXVIII. Carson Desert at Parran, Nev

XXXIX. Piute Indians at home

XL. Tonopah, Nev., a typical mining community

XLI. Consolidated mill, Goldfield, Nev

XLII. United States Reclamation Service dam on Truckee River

XLIII. Virginia City, Nev., on the famous Comstock Lode

XLIV. A, Truckee River canyon near Floriston, Cal.; B, Truckee, Cal.

XLV. Lake Tahoe, Cal

XLVI. Cave Rock, Lake Tahoe, Nev

XLVII. A, Donner Lake; B, Desolation Valley, near Lake Tahoe

XLVIII. A, View of Tertiary gold-gravel deposits between Gold Run and Dutch Flat; B, View in a railroad cut between Forebay and Midas

XLIX. A, View down canyon of North Fork of American River from Cape Horn, Cal.; B, Blue Canyon, Cal

L. State capitol at Sacramento, Cal



1. Sketch profile of river bluffs near Omaha, Nebr., showing Aftonian gravels

2. Sketch profile showing relation of loess to underlying beds of clay and glacial till in railroad cuts west of Omaha, Nebr

3. Cross section of the rock formations from the Rocky Mountains to Omaha, Nebr

4. Map of North America showing area covered by the Pleistocene ice sheet at its maximum extension

5. Sketch profile of the bluffs near Brule, Nebr

6. Typical sand dune with blow-out in its top

7. Tertiary sand and gravel overlying truncated edges of older rocks

8. Unconformity in a railroad cut 4 miles west of Lookout, Wyo

9. Leg bones of a dinosaur, showing size in comparison with that of a man

10. Map showing outline of the Great Basin

11. Diagram showing fluctuations of water surface of Great Salt Lake, Utah, 1850-1914

12. Diagram showing normal and reverse or overthrust faults

13. Diagrammatic structure section of the Wasatch Range, in Ogden Canyon

14. Cross section of Marsh Creek valley at McCammon, Idaho

15. The Three Tetons, looking east

16. Diagrammatic cross section showing the geologic structure of the Virginia Range in its relation to Truckee Meadows

17. Sketch maps showing capture of upper part of Bear River by South Fork of Yuba River (on sheet 23)

18. Diagram showing the present relation of the Tertiary auriferous gravels to bedrock and lavas

19. Map showing geologic formations along the south shore of San Pablo Bay (on sheet 25)

20. Section showing structure along the south shore of San Pablo Bay (on sheet 25)


George Otis Smith, Director

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Last Updated: 28-Mar-2006