West Valley Geology Tour

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by Skip Via

Welcome to a virtual tour of some of the Flathead Valley’s prominent (and some not so prominent) geological features, courtesy of Google Earth.

This tour is a companion piece to several articles that have appeared elsewhere on our website:

This inspiration for this project came largely from the work of Dr. Lex Blood, professor emeritus, Flathead Valley Community College, for his extensive (and clearly heartfelt) efforts to make the geological history of the valley accessible to everyone. Thank you, Lex.

We’ll be adding elements to the tour over time, which we’ll announce in our newsletter.

Taking the Tour

The tour is self-guided. There is no narration and you have several options for navigating, all of which are explained in the video below.

At this time, the tour will work on desktop or laptop computers and on iPads which have been updated to the most recent version of iPadOS. It will also work on Chromebooks. We do not recommend trying it on a mobile phone. It will work on most web browsers such as Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, but you may need to update to the latest versions.

Before you start the tour, we strongly recommend that you watch this short video to learn the many ways to navigate and explore on your own within the tour. You can’t mess anything up and there is always a way back, so feel free to experiment and move around.

PLEASE NOTE: Since this video was made, Google has made some changes to Google Earth. The only effect these changes have on the virtual tour involves the way you start the tour. Instead of clicking the Present button as instructed in the video, click the Slideshow button in the upper right corner of your browser window as shown below:

Now that you know how to get around, click the link below to start the tour:


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Pat Jaquith
Pat Jaquith
1 year ago

What an informative tour! And the tour guide gives so many additional details that I feel like I took a mini-course! The tutorial at the beginning gave me confidence to hop in
on my own. Thanks for such an enjoyable experience!

Keith Hammer
Keith Hammer
1 year ago
Reply to  skip

What an excellent tour! I’ve live around here most of my life, but I learned a lot of new things with this tour. Well done!