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Fieldtrips

Fieldtrips from Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting Announced (PDF) (June 10)

Please Note: The Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel room block is only available from 14-22 September. Those attending pre-meeting workshops and fieldtrips and needing a room 12 & 13 September at the GRC rate will have to make a reservation at the the Hilton Palm Springs Hotel where the room block is available 12-19 September. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Saturday, September 14
(Half Day)

San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour

Sunday, September 15
(Half Day)

Palm Canyon Hiking Tour

Wednesday - Thursday
September 18-19 (Two Days)

Imperial Valley

Wednesday - Thursday
September 18-19 (Two Days)

Coso Geothermal Operations and GreenFire Energy's Closed-Loop Demonstration Plant

Please note: Fieldtrip itineraries are subject to change. Full schedules will be made available below. Check back for updates.

All fieldtrips meet in the lobby of the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel. Check-in is required 30 minutes before departure. Please arrive early to check-in and get continental breakfast (when applicable). Please make sure you wear proper attire including closed-toe shoes - some of the terrain on the fieldtrips will be quite rough!


San Andreas Fault Jeep TourSan Andreas Fault Jeep Tour - Courtesy Red Jeep Tours

Saturday, September 14 (Half Day)

Check-in and breakfast from 6:30-7:30 am
Depart  Renaissance Hotel at 7:30am, returning to the hotel by 12:30pm 
Cost: $250
- Limited to 25 participants - sign up now!

Led by: TBD

A three-hour off-road jeep ride along the San Andreas Fault Zone with discussions about the local geology, plants, animals, and history of the California desert.  A visit to a slot canyon and a natural palm oasis. There will also be a discussion about the culture and lifestyle of the Cahuilla Indians and how they used the desert’s plants for food, medicine, tools, weapons, shelter, and more.


Palm Canyon Hiking TourPalm Canyon is a photographer's delight. Courtesy Visit Palm Springs

Sunday, September 15 (Half Day)

Check-in and breakfast from 6:30-7:30 am
Depart Renaissance Hotel at 7:30am, returning to the hotel by 12:00pm 
Cost: $150 - Limited to 25 participants - sign up now!

Led by: TBD

An approximately two-mile hike to a beautiful Palm Oasis where the Agua Caliente (Hot Water) Band of Cahuilla Indians lived for generations. The guide will give an introduction to the Agua Caliente culture and how they lived in this amazing place. The guided hike includes discussion on local plants, animals, geography and Native American history.


Imperial ValleyThe Davis-Schrimpf Seep Field with mud-volcanoes with the John L. Featherstone geothermal power plant in the background. GRC Fieldtrip 2013. Photo by Ian Crawford.

Wednesday - Thursday, September 18-19 (Two Days)

Depart Renaissance Hotel at 2:00pm and returning at about 6:00pm on Thursday.
Cost: $250
- Limited to 50 participants - sign up now!

Led by: Billy Thomas, Mike Krahmer and Sam Abraham.

This two-day fieldtrip will visit the Imperial Valley, home to the world-renowned Salton Sea geothermal field.  The tour begins with a stop at Painted Canyon in the Mecca Hills to observe the San Andreas Fault up-close where discussion of local structures will explain the unique geologic setting of the Salton Trough. The tour will continue with a stop at Red Hill, one of the Quaternary volcanos that make up the Salton Buttes, and nearby fumaroles and hot springs to discuss the geothermal activity in the area, as well as the Salton Sea and future development (including the potential for mineral extraction).  Tours of the Hudson Ranch power plant, CalEnergy wellfield will conclude the first day. 

Day 2 begins with a drive near the US/Mexico border (and nearby solar farms) on the way to Ormat’s Heber geothermal power plant for a tour. The final stops on the way back to Palm Springs will include a visit to “Slab City” (just outside of the town of Niland) to seethe amazing Salvation Mountain and a flowing hot well. The final stop will be at the Wister mud pots along Highway 111, where the movement of a mud pot has created a dangerous situation for the integrity of the highway and Union Pacific railroad. 

We look forward to having you join us on this trip to the Imperial Valley, which has become a significant hot spot for renewable energy – with production from geothermal, solar, wind and biofuel – and possibly soon to be one of the most important regions for lithium mining.

Day 1

  • 2:00 pm – Depart Renaissance Hotel
  • 4:00 pm – Arrive at Painted Canyon Area (discuss San Andreas Fault Zone)
  • 4:30 pm – Depart Painted Canyon
  • 5:30 pm – Arrive Red Hill Marina (Geothermal, Geology, Lithium, Salton Sea discussions)
  • 6:30 pm – Depart Red Hill Marina.  Drive past CalEnergy well field for discussion from vans.
  • 8:00 pm – Arrive at Hotel in El Centro / Check in
  • 8:30 pm – Dinner

Day 2

  • 8:00 am – Depart Hotel (Sack Lunch to be provided by Hotel) drive along US/Mexico border
  • 9:00 am – Arrive Ormat’s Heber facility
  • 10:00 am – Depart Ormat facility
  • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Hudson Ranch or CalEnergy Tour
  • 12:00-1:00 pm - Lunch
  • 1:00-2:00 pm – Hot Springs / Mud Pots stop
  • 2:30 pm – Arrive at Niland / Slab City hot spring and Salvation Mountain
  • 3:00 pm – Depart Niland
  • 3:15 pm – Arrive at Wister / Union Pacific spring area
  • 3:45 pm – Depart for Palm Springs
  • 5:45 pm – Arrive back at Renaissance Hotel

Cost includes transportation, meals (Wednesday dinner is on your own) and Wednesday night lodging (double occupancy).


Coso Geothermal Operations and GreenFire Energy's Closed-Loop Demonstration Plant

Wednesday - Thursday, September 18-19 (Two Days)

Fieldtrip to Coso Geothermal Operations and GreenFire Energy’s Closed-Loop Demonstration Plant (PDF) (July 15)

Depart Renaissance Hotel at 2:00pm, returning about 6:00pm on Thursday.
Cost: $375

Led by: Dr. Andy Sabin, Navy Geothermal Program Office and Joseph Scherer, CEO GreenFire Energy


Coso Geothermal Power Plant (Courtesy Coso Operating Company)

This is a rare opportunity to explore operations, volcanic geology, and hydrothermal features of the Coso geothermal field located at the China Lake Naval Air Warfare Station (NAWS), California. 

Coso is known for its large and very hot geothermal resource. It has been producing power continuously since 1987. We will see Quaternary rhyolite domes and flows, Sierran basement rocks (geothermal resource host), a short-lived mercury mine, sinter terraces and fumaroles plus the Coso well field, power blocks and the central control room. 

This tour will also include a visit to GreenFire Energy's experimental project demonstrating closed-loop geothermal power production technology. GreenFire Energy’s project has been tested using both water and supercritical CO2 as working fluids and is designed to demonstrate usage in hot dry rock resources as well as to retrofit unproductive conventional geothermal wells to regain productivity. The Coso/GreenFire Energy project has been primarily funded by the California Energy Commission with additional support from Shell Oil, the Electric Power Research Institute, J-POWER, and a variety of key suppliers, all of whom will have representatives on site for the tour.

Day 1

  • 2:00 pm - Depart Renaissance Hotel. 1-2 points of interest stops.
  • 7:00 pm - Arrive at Springhill Suites and Rodeway Inn Hotels in Ridgecrest, CA.
  • 7:45 - 9 pm - Dinner at the Conference Center, Springhill Suites. Sponsored by GreenFire Energy.

Day 2

  • 7:15 am - Depart hotels.
  • 8:15 am - Arrive at Coso Operating Company, Coso, CA.
  • 8:30 am - 1:35 pm - Tour of Coso geothermal geological site, Navy II central control room, and GreenFire Energy demonstration. Lunch will be provided.
  • 1:45 - Depart Coso Operating Company.
  • 2:45 - Arrive at Springhill Suites, Ridgecrest. Depart for Palm Springs.
  • 6:45 - Arrive at  Renaissance Hotel, Palm Springs.


Dinner sponsored by GreenFire Energy

Cost includes transportation, meals and Wednesday night lodging (single occupancy).

Please note: All Coso Geothermal tour participants are required to carry a picture ID to enter the China Lake Naval Air Warfare Station. In addition, you will be required to provide copies of photo IDs or passports and/or green cards and to receive Navy security authorization prior to joining the tour. Faxes of photo IDs, copy of passport and/or green cards can be submitted to (530) 758-2839 by September 6.


Please note: Fieldtrip itineraries are subject to change. Full schedules will be made available above. Check back for updates.