August 14, 2021 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Santa Fe Conservation Trust


Ruins · Artifacts · Views · Historical Sites

Rare opportunities to explore archaeological and geological sites on private land.
R.S.V.P. by phone (505) 989-7019 or email

Garden of the Gods

Half-day tour in Cerrillos, NM

Join local geologist Kirt Kempter (see bio below) for a special geological tour of the Cerrillos – Little Garden of the Gods area.  The tour highlight will be a visit to the Simmons Ranch, which includes spectacular petrified trees eroding out of multi-colored sandstones of the Galisteo Formation.  Rock exposures along Highway 14 and Waldo Canyon Road will help tell a geologic story that begins with the Cretaceous Sea, the last ocean to cover northern New Mexico.  Younger rock formations tell the story of the rise of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  There will also be discussions on the volcanic history of the Ortiz and Cerrillos Hills volcanic centers, and how the geology of the Galisteo Basin impacts oil, gas, and water in the area.  A catered lunch will be provided by the highly-rated Black Bird Saloon in Cerrillos.  Participants should bring water and appropriate hiking gear (although we will not be hiking more than one mile).

Saturday, August 14, 2021
9 am.  Meet at the entrance to SFCC.
Hopefully, some carpooling will be arranged.
9:30 to 12.  Explore the Simmons Ranch and Cerrillos geology
12 to 1 pm.  Catered lunch by the Black Bird Saloon in Cerrillos

$150 per person ($110 tax-deductible)

Limited to 20 people, so sign up now by emailing us at and we will contact you in the order we get them.  Please include your phone number.

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.