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Shaping the Landscape

  • Meet in Whitman College Science Hall Parking Lot. United States (map)

Come join Mike Denny and Bob Carson on a spring day exploring the natural history of the shoreline of the Snake River in Walla Walla County. 

The Snake River originates in Wyoming and makes its way across southern Idaho before turning north along the Idaho-Oregon border. It finally enters Washington and flows west to meet the Columbia River, its largest tributary.

The Snake River landscape is unique, in that it was formed by catastrophic floods, better known as the Missoula Floods, which occurred more than 40 times between 15,000 and 13,000 years ago. These floods carved the deep canyons and rolling hills we see today. 

This excursion is all about discovery from the bedrock up to the birds in the sky and everything in between. Mike will help you identify dozens of birds and plants. Bob will walk you across giant Missoula floods ripple marks, take you to the youngest Columbia River basalt flow, and help you collect rocks as old as 1.4 billion years. 

For more information about this event, please contact Lauren Platman at or 509-525-3136. 

Included: Transportation provided.

Suitability: Best suited for ages 10+.

Difficulty: Involves hiking 2+ miles on uneven terrain.

Things to Bring: Sturdy waterproof hiking shoes, rain gear, hat with a brim, sunglasses and sunscreen, sack lunch, refillable water bottle, camera, journal, box for rocks, and sense of adventure. 

Earlier Event: April 20
Nature Kids: Earth Day
Later Event: April 27
Brewer Wetland Tour