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SALMON, IDAHO, JULY 27–30, 2023

Mesoproterozoic Swauger Formation quartzite with darker, fine-grained beds near Taylor Mountain, Salmon River Mountains, Idaho. Photo by Russ Burmester 

Salmon Area Details, Conference Schedule, and Registration

Belt Symposia are held once every ten years and this is the 6th installment. This year’s symposium is being held in conjunction with the 48th Annual Tobacco Root Geological Society Field Conference in Salmon, Idaho. The conference activities begin on late Thursday afternoon and extend through Sunday afternoon (July 27–July 30, 2023). Pre- and post-meeting field trips are also offered.

The symposia are organized by the Belt Association and are dedicated to geologic research on all aspects of the Belt Basin, an important Mesoproterozoic sedimentary body in the Northern Rockies. The basin covers a large region in Montana, Idaho, Washington, British Columbia, and Alberta. It is one of the thickest, best exposed, most accessible, and well-studied Mesoproterozoic basins in the world. The Belt Symposia draw international researchers in Precambrian stratigraphy, tectonics, geodynamics, paleomagnetism, ore deposits, paleoclimate, paleontology, sedimentology, geochronology, and other disciplines.

This announcement provides information on the meeting schedule and events, lodging, and meals. Tourist season means lots of people in the town of Salmon, so plan accordingly. If you are staying in a motel, book early. Numerous restaurants are available but as an alternative consider the dinners that we are providing for all three nights. Note that you will need to make or obtain your own breakfast. A group camping area is available on Hammon Drive. If you plan to stay elsewhere, give yourself plenty of time to reach the Sacajawea Center to catch your field trip group.


If have questions or would like to volunteer, please contact our conference organizer, Reed Lewis (


On-site meeting registration and conference venue


Our primary venue is the beautiful Sacajawea Center located 2 miles east of Salmon, Idaho on Hwy 28. The WEB address is:  Sacajawea Center | Interpretive, Cultural, Educational


Park in one of the 3 lots indicated on the Google Earth Image. Conference activities will be in the Learning Center. The Interpretive Center just to the east will be open Thursday afternoon and charges $5 for admission.








Camping and Lodging


A group camping location 3 miles south of town has been arranged with a local landowner for a fee of $5/night. There will be porta potties and water. The site is essentially a horse pasture without trees, so if you want something more scenic, try the surrounding federal land. Access to the property (street address is 34 Hammon drive) is shown in the Google Earth image:




Accommodations in and around Salmon are listed on the website: Where to Stay | Visit Salmon Valley, Idaho


If you would like to see what the BLM possibilities are (very limited and no reservations taken for this high tourist season area): Salmon Field Office | Bureau of Land Management (   The recreation sites nearest Salmon are Morgan Bar, Shoup Bridge, and Tower Rock.





Wednesday, July 26

  • Humbolt anticline near Dillon (Jim Sears and Michael Hoffman) —some hiking involved.

    • Meet at Town and Country Foods (former IGA) at the south end of Dillon at 9:00 AM. Camp that night near Dillon or stay in town.


Thursday, July 27

  • Challis Volcanic Group and a little bit of Belt Supergroup near Lemhi Pass (Jesse Mosolf). This field trip will meet at Lemhi Pass and travel west to join the group in Salmon in the afternoon/early evening. Minimal optional hikes.

    • Meet in the parking area near the restrooms at Lemhi Pass at 9:00 AM.


Thursday in Salmon, ID (Sacajawea Center)

Conference check-in (TRGS – Belt Association) 4 – 7 PM

Hang posters 4 – 7 PM

Poster Session Notes

  • Posters will be up from Thursday afternoon to Saturday night.

  • Pick some 30-minute interval to be standing by the poster and indicate that time on the poster

  • Spaces are narrow so please keep the poster width to ≤5 ft.

  • No abstracts needed in NW Geology Volume to hang a poster.

Dinner @ Sacajawea Center (SC) 6 – 7 PM [Pizza/Salads]


Poster session #1: 7 – 9 PM


Friday Morning – Overview talks (Sacajawea Center)

7:00 TRGS check-in / registration

7:15-8:00 Make lunches; coffee

8:00 Intro, TRGS stuff

8:30 Geology of the Salmon area — Reed Lewis

8:50 Regional Belt story — Jeff Lonn

9:10 Break + Posters

9:40 Regional structure story — David Pearson and Stuart Parker

10:00 Iron Creek Cu-Co mine research — Katha Pfaff and Danny Schmidt

10:20 Prepare for field trips

10:45 Field trips leave


Friday Afternoon – 1/2 day field trips

  1. Belt Supergroup south of Salmon (Reed Lewis and Russ Burmester) — Roadcut stops only

  2. Landslides and Challis Volcanic Group — Williams Lake (Dave Stewart, Loudon Stanford, and Jesse Mosolf) — Roadcut stops only

  3. Mining — Diamond Creek REE property (Rob Morgan, Rebecca Goddard, and Virginia Gillerman) — Roadcut stops only

  4. Structure — Belt Supergroup and contact metamorphism east of Sage Creek (Jeff Lonn) — Two miles of off-trail hiking along the top of a ridge

Friday Dinner @ SC 6 – 7 PM [Brats/Burgers/Veggie Burgers/Salads]


Friday Evening Talks — Belt-Purcell Basin: Sediment provenance and age + Purcell Lava

7:00 Provenance of Belt-Purcell rocks — Jaime Hirtz, Kurt Constenius, and others

7:40 Regional Belt DZ database and analysis — Stuart Parker and Kurt Sundell

8:00 Peperites of the Purcell Lava and refined geochronology of the Belt-Purcell Basin — Kurt Constenius and Game McGimsey

8:20 Age of the Bonner Formation and Leaton Gulch strata — Jon Lever, Kurt Sundell, and Dave Pearson


Saturday, July 29


7:15-8:00 Make lunches; Coffee available @ Sacajawea Center (SC)


Meet your trip @ Sacajawea Center for 8 am departure

  • Challis Volcanic Group — Iron Creek (Dave Stewart) — Roadcut stops only

  • Belt Supergroup north and south of Williams Creek Summit (Russ Burmester, Reed Lewis, Dave Pearson, and Liam Knudsen) — Roadcut stops only

  • Augen gneiss, metamorphism, and mylonitization on Main Salmon west of North Fork (Keegan Schmidt, Cody Steven, Rich Gaschnig, and Johnny Murphy) — Roadcut stops only

  • Mining — Pope-Shenon mine plus Iron Creek deposit (Skip Yates, George King, Danny Schmidt, and Katha Pfaff) — Short hikes at the Pope-Shenon; roadcut stops only at Iron Creek


BBQ Dinner @ SC 6 –7 PM


Poster Session #2: 7 – 9 PM


Sunday, July 30


7:00-8:00 Make lunches; Coffee available @ Sacajawea Center (SC)

Meet your trip @ Sacajawea Center for 8 am departure

  • Belt Supergroup structures at Trail Gulch (Jeff Lonn and Russ Burmester) — about 5 miles with 1,600 feet of elevation gain through grassland and open forest

  • Challis Volcanic Group — Williams Creek to W of Williams Summit (Dave Stewart) —roadcut stops only

  • Regional Geology and Mining — Salmon to Beartrack (Reed Lewis, Steve Priesmeyer and Dan Price) —roadcut stops only

  • Challis-Belt float trip south of Salmon (Liam Knudsen and Keegan Schmidt) —a 12 mi float trip along the Salmon River with one series of (maybe) Class II rapids; limited hiking; limited to 19 participants in three rafts but those with their own kayaks or rafts can also join the trip with only a $15 charge for the lunch

  • Structure — Mylonites of the Thompson Gulch thrust near Leadore (Stuart Parker and David Pearson) —will involve several short hikes on steep ground

POST-MEETING FIELD TRIPS (no lunches provided)


Monday, July 31 

  • Mineral Hill REE (Joel Schiffer, Madeline Murchland, Cody Steven, Reed Lewis, and Virginia Gillerman) —will involve hiking on steep ground

    • Meet at Sacajawea Center main parking lot (west side) at 8:30 AM.


Monday ± Tuesday ± Wednesday, July 31 – August 2

  • Neoproterozoic and lower Paleozoic strata near Clayton (Dan Brennan, Paul Link, David Pearson, Jacob Milton, Kurt Sundell, and Kyle Mangum) —roadcut stops plus hiking; day 3 has the most strenuous hikes— as long as 3 days, depending on individual interest. Option for motel in Challis on Monday evening; camping required for Tuesday.

    • Meet at Sacajawea Center main parking lot (east side) at 8:30 AM.




Registration for the meeting includes a hard copy of 2023 Northwest Geology, edited by Reed Lewis and Alan English. Questions about the field conference, accommodations, or volunteering should be sent to Reed Lewis ( Additional conference information may be posted on the TRGS webpage ( or the TRGS Facebook page.


REGISTER BY MAIL: Complete the paper registration form and pay by check (postmark by July 17). Send to: Tobacco Root Geological Society, P.O. Box 118, Butte, Montana 59703-0118.


REGISTER ONLINE*: Online registration opens on June 5 at After registration
opens, complete the online registration form* and send a check for registration fees to Tobacco Root
Geological Society, P.O. Box 118, Butte, Montana 59703-0118  or pay by PayPal. Please be sure to print
your completed registration form before you submit your responses.
Please complete the online
registration form
no later than July 21.

*Online registration is the preferred method of registration for accurate attendee contact
information, trip registration, and meal selection.

Reminder: No breakfasts are offered during this conference!.

All field trip participants, including leaders, must register for the conference. Field trip leaders do not need to pay for the field trip(s) they are leading. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday field trip registration includes lunch.


Please note that there are two places on the form where you can contribute to the scholarship fund of the TRGS – by purchasing a conference T-shirt or by making a direct contribution to scholarships.

TRGS Salmon camp.jpg
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