Research: Field Facilities

Lost River Field Station

The Lost River Field Station (LRFS)is a fully outfitted facility (showers, toilets, commercial kitchen, wireless network, etc) operated by our own Idaho State University's Department of Geosciences. It is located north of Mackay, Idaho, at the base of the Big Lost River Mountains, just beside Mt Borah and the Borah Fault Scarp. This is where we teach field camp and base field trips out of.

Beyond a diverse set of traditional bedrock mapping sites, LRFS is also an ideal site for surface process studies. These might include studies of fault scarp evolution, glacial landforms, landslides, tectonic geomorphology, bedrock and alluvial river form and function and a slew of other great questions regarding topographic evolution.

Here are some of those sites with links:

  • mapping well exposed, deformed carbonates at Leslie Butte (low elevation, paleo, good warm up exercise for a variety of skill levels).
  • high grade metamorphic rocks (near-by core complex) at Boulder Creek
  • impressive, massive landslide at Carlson Lake with dated lake cores and paleoclimate info
  • numerous activities on the Borah Fault Scarp (including 1m resolution public access LiDAR data!)
  • numerous activities in the Craters of the Moon national monument
  • Good fluvial geomorph and terrace opportunities just in the backyard of the field station!


Taylor Ranch in Big Creek

Taylor Ranch is a remote wilderness research station owned and operated by the University of Idaho. It is located within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, along Big Creek, a tributary to the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.

It is a great site to initiate geomorphic studies of bedrock river incision and morphology, sediment transport, hillslope stability, knickpoint propagation, valley-blocking landslides, feedbacks between geomorphic and biological systems and a host of other subjects.


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updated: 2015
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