Last Chance Canyon

Red Rock Canyon State Park, Kern County,California

Here is the stuff paleobotanical dreams are made of--greenish-brown sandstones of the late Middle Miocene Dove Spring Formation in Last Chance Canyon; these rocks were earlier mapped by famous reconnaissance geologist T. W. Dibblee as "member 4" of his Ricardo Formation. Several of the sandstone ledges in the image yield vast quantities of perfectly preserved, silicified and opalized petrified wood, including abundant palm roots that sometimes contain fungal growths from an extinct species of palm called Palmoxylodon mohavensis. All of Last Chance Canyon now lies within the boundaries of Red Rock Canyon State Park; fossil collecting without a special permit issued by the California State Park authorities is forbidden; and such a permit is issued solely to qualified, trained scientists with a degree from an accredited university whose research can be verified through independent investigators.

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