Trekking through the past
By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy DCS Montessori
Trekking through Colorado’s geologic past along the Front Range is like stepping into another world. Panoramic view of Pikes Peak, red rock formations standing taller than buildings, and the Dakota Hogback take a person’s breath away. Each magnificent view delivers a subtle message of its history. Prior to spring break, DCS Montessori (DCSM) middle school geology students enjoyed these views and more as they trekked along nature’s paths, learning about Colorado geological history.
Trekking through a few local favorite parks – Red Rocks Park, Castlewood Canyon and Roxborough State Park, students studied the Fountain Formation, a thick stripe of pink sedimentary rocks that stretch along the Front Range’s eastern edge and soaked up the sunshine while observing the Dawson Formation and Castle Rock Conglomerate.
The last trek brought the students to Roxborough State Park, considered as Denver’s Garden of the Gods. Roxborough State Park is a spectacular example of sedimentary rocks of the Great Plains transition with the crystalline basement rock of the Rocky Mountains. The red spires and monoliths of the Fountain Formation are evidence of a mountain range older than the Rockies. The Dakota Hogback marks the western edge of an ancient inland sea. The granite and gneiss of Carpenter Peak tell us of the great forces of heat and pressure deep inside the earth. With every step taken, students were immersed in a beautiful lesson in Colorado history.