Rocks Geology and History
suggested grade levels: 9-12
view Idaho achievement standards for this lesson
1. Students will become familiar with the Digital Atlas of Idaho.
2. Students will learn about the history and geology of Massacre Rocks.
Use the Digital Atlas of Idaho. To get there: Click on Atlas Home, Geology, Parks and Monuments, Massacre Rocks, then on Start Park Module. Have your students read through the Massacre Rocks pages and answer the following questions. Encourage them to check out the links because they will show some very interesting pictures of the area. For a printable pdf copy of a sample handout you can use for this exercise, click below.
These are links to access the handouts and printable materials.
geo14ho.pdf | geo14AK.pdf | Start Park Module
Massacre Rocks was named from the skirmishes that took place in this area during the 1800s when large numbers of settlers passed through on the Oregon Trail. It was declared a state park in 1967. The area is also known for its geology because volcanic evidence is abundant. By doing this activity, you will learn about the history and geology of this unique area along the Snake River in Southern Idaho. Use your knowledge to answer the following questions completely and accurately.
1. Why did the earlier emigrants refer to this area as "Devil's Gate" and "Gate of Death"?
2. What types of evidence did the early travelers leave in the Massacre Rocks area?
3. How do scientists believe the area was formed? What evidence is there of this?
4. How did the Lake Bonneville Flood influence the area?
Geology: Geology Topics