Santa Fe Conservation Trust


Ruins · Artifacts · Views · Historical Sites

Rare opportunities to explore archaeological and geological sites on private land.


Diablo Canyon Geology Tour

Thursday, April 27 • 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Half-day tour near Santa Fe, NM
$150 per person (includes lunch)


This outing will explore the volcanic story behind Diablo Canyon, and provide sweeping vistas of the Jemez Mountains and White Rock Canyon.  Geologist Kirt Kempter will lead the group on a 2.5-mile hike that climbs 450 feet in elevation, providing overlooks down into Diablo Canyon.  The geologic story from above reveals a volcano that created explosive eruptions, a cinder cone, widespread lava flows, and finally a lava lake, frozen in time.  If you have hiked Diablo Canyon before, this will certainly provide a different perspective on this remarkable feature.  Participants will meet at a designated parking area on Camino La Tierra, and should bring appropriate hiking attire and water.  Walking sticks recommended.  This hike is moderately strenuous and includes walking on rocky, uneven surfaces.

Kirt Kempter

Kirt Kempter is a Fulbright Fellow and Ph.D. graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, now living in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  A volcanologist and field geologist, Kirt has conducted extensive field research in Costa Rica, Mexico, and New Mexico, and has worked with the NASA astronaut training program, providing field geologic training to astronaut candidates.  His interest in global geologic processes has allowed him to lead field-oriented expeditions to destinations such as Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Africa, and Antarctica. Kirt has led educational tours for Smithsonian Journeys and National Geographic Expeditions since 1993, and greatly enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge of geology with tour participants.  On the side, Kirt particularly enjoys photography, cooking, and tennis.