Geology Field Trips To California's Central Coast

Map showing Central Coast Regional Geology Field Trip Destinations

Map of the California Central Coast region showing "geology" field trip destinations
The region south of San Francisco Bay has some of the most interesting geology that is accessible to the public. This website is a compilation of selected field trips for day trips or week-long geology adventures. The area has one of the most diverse collection of rock materials (igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary), and landscape features associated with active fault systems, both in rural and urban landscapes.
Anderson Reservoir
Anderson County Park
Click on images to see a larger view!
Southern Santa Clara County Parks

Chitactac-Adams County Historic Park, Uvas County Park, and Chesbro County Park

Anderson County Park

Coyote-Harvey Bear County Park - Three trip destinations include:

   The Calaveras Fault at Mendoza Entrance and walk along the Coyote Ridge Trail
  Geology of the Coyote Reservoir Dam

   Landslide at the Harvey Bear Ranch

See the Santa Clara County Parks & Recreation Department website (
for more park information.

Coyote Creek Valley below Dam
Coyote Dam and Coyote Creek Canyon
Coyote Ridge in southeastern Santa Clara County
Coyote Ridge hike on Mummy Mountain

San Benito County Destinations

The San Andreas Fault in Northern San Benito County—Aromas to San Juan Bautista

San Juan Bautista-Fault Walking Tour along the San Andreas Fault

San Andreas Fault — San Juan Bautista to St. Francis Retreat Center

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail (Old Stage Road) - Hiking Trail

Hollister and the Calaveras Fault

Fremont Peak State Park

Cienega Road Loop Tour (San Andreas and Calaveras Faults in the Hollister Hills region)

Pinnacles National Park

San Andreas Fault in San Juan Bautista
San Andreas Fault scarp in San Juan Bautista
Old Stage Road
Old Stage Road
(NPS hiking trail)

Northern end of the Gavilan Range from the Salinas Road-San Juan Grade
View of the dome-like core of the north end of the Gavilan Range as seen from the Salinas Road-San Juan Grade (near the boundary between San Benito and Monterey Counties.
Also see these free online regional geology guidebook publications for the California Central Coast region:
Where’s the San Andreas Fault? A Guidebook to Tracing the Fault on Public Lands in the San Francisco Bay Region. This guide provides field trip descriptions for the San Andreas Fault from the San Juan Bautista region northward to Point Reyes National Seashore.

Rocks and Geology of the San Francisco Bay Region: this guide provides basic information about rocks found in the landscapes in the Central Coast region from the Salinas Valley northward through the San Francisco Bay region.

Field-Trip Guide to the Southeastern Foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains In Santa Clara County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-121, 29 p., . This field guide describes rock of the Mesozoic-age Franciscan Formation (assemblage) that crops out throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains and the foothills around Santa Clara Valley south of San Jose, California.

Where's the Hayward Fault? A Green Guide to the Fault
This guidebook shows locations in public places where features in the East Bay urban corridor are visibly affected my movement along the Hayward Fault.

Carrizo Plain National Monument, Wallace Creek-San Andreas Fault Interpretive Guide.
Pinnacles Naitonal Monument Elkhorn Slough Monterey Bay beach Anzar Road sag pond
Anza Trail

Pinnacles National Park

Elkhorn Slough - natural estuary between Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties
Sunset, Manresa, and Pajaro beaches along Monterey Bay
Sag pond along San Andreas Fault along Anzar Road
Juan Bautista de Anza National Trail (NPS) hiking, biking, horseback riding