Tourist Guide to Colorado Geology: Colorado Geologic Survey

Title: Tourist Guide to Colorado Geology: Colorado Geologic Survey, Vincent Matthews, Compiler, 2009

Reviewed by Kristine Peterson

Publication: The Outcrop, August 2009, p. 10

The new Tourist Guide To Colorado Geology from the Colorado Geologic Survey is a geologic highway map unlike most you have seen. It is actually a mini-geologic lesson and guide to points of geologic interest, complete with color photos in addition to the geologic map of Colorado showing the major highways. The map is available for $10 at

Printed on high quality, waterproof paper, this double­sided map unfolds to 36″ by 48″ with multiple color montages of related topics. The amount of information displayed on each side is dense, making this a foldable “mini-reference.” One side consists of a large geologic highway map with an east-west cross section displayed beneath it simplified from Ogden Tweto’s original work and two panels entitled Explanations of Map Units and Geologic Structures. The Explanations of Map Units panel displays 18 photos of different rock types sorted by era with written highlights of the Colorado geologic activity for that era. The Geologic Structures panel displays annotated photos of some great examples and definitions of folds, faults and unconformities with location data including latitude and longitude.

The reverse side of the map displays a shaded digital relief map, annotated physiography and topographic maps complete with listing of the 14,000′ peaks and 58 significant features such as the Uinta Mountains and the Grenadier Range. Additionally, there are panels for Colorado’s Mineral and Energy Resources, Official Colorado Geologic Symbols, Points of Geologic Interest, Earthquakes and Young Faults of Colorado and Distribution of Rocks and Deposits in Colorado, Colorado State Parks, Colorado’s Geologic Time Scale and especially interesting a mini-panel with a historic look at the Pikes Peak Ocean-Ocean Highway. The six maps on the Distribution of Rocks panel are Granitic Rocks, Sedimentary Rocks, Unconsolidated Sedimentary Deposits, Volcanic Rocks, Metamorphic Rocks and Glaciers and Sand Deposits.

Layman or experienced geologist will both learn something new from this colorful and user-friendly map. You will want to order more than one of these maps. In addition to one in your glove-box this would be the perfect gift for your out-of-town guests or a premium for your next non-profit fundraiser.