My kids are obsessed with rocks and thanks to them, I am now too. In spring of 2016, after I watched an entire bucket of rocks from our driveway make their way into my children’s bedroom collections, I decided it was time we venture out and get them some rocks that are much cooler than gravel. What kid wouldn’t want to find 40-50 million year old fish fossils in Kemmerer, Wyoming or geodes created 6-8 million years ago near Dugway, Utah on the Pony Express Trail and extinct hard shelled creatures called trilobites from 520 million years ago near Delta, Utah? Sounds like a blast to me! To read about a few of our favorite trips, click the links below.
- Geode Beds – Dugway, Utah
- U-Dig Trilobites – Delta, Utah
- Fish Fossils at Fossil Safari – Kemmerer, Wyoming
- Wonderstone – Vernon, Utah
- Septarianville – Clawson, Utah
My rock and fossil hunting bucket list –
- Dig For A Day Program at The Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis, Wyoming.
- The Fossil Field Program in Natural History State Park looks like a blast. This week long program near Vernal, Utah happens annually in June for up to 15 people ages 16+ allowing participants to work along side experts in the field of paleontology to collect specimens for the museum. How fun would that be?!?
- Although we’ve been to U-Dig and loved it, we’re thinking about checking out A New Dig which is a nearby trilobite quarry opened by a former U-Dig employee outside of Delta, Utah.
- The Florissant Fossil Quarry is located 36 miles west of Colorado Springs at 8,500′ and looks like a great place to find 35 million year old plants, bugs and bird fossils.
- Hunt for fish fossils at American Fossil near Kemmerer, Wyoming.
- The Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita, Colorado (21 miles from Grand Junction) has several programs throughout the summer including 1/2 and full day digs for ages 7+ at the Collision Quarry as well as fossil prospecting hikes.
- Do Family Week at Hancock Field Station in Oregon.
- Hunt for petrified wood near Marble Canyon, Arizona. Please keep in mind that when collecting petrified wood on BLM Land there are rules….”Petrified wood can be collected for personal use — up to 25 pounds each day, plus one piece, but no more than 250 pounds in any calendar year (43 CFR 3622). These materials must be for your personal collection and cannot be sold or traded.” Click HERE for directions to find petrified wood in northern Arizona.
- BLM Trilobite Quarry 50 miles west of Delta, Utah.
- Fossil hunt at Caesar Creek in Waynesville, Ohio.
- Click HERE to see a list of where to pan for gold in the United States.
- Junior Paleontology Camp for 2nd and 3rd graders and Master Paleontology Camp for grades 9-12 at Hancock Field Station in Oregon.
- Check out trips with Mid-Atlantic Fossil and Nature Adventures.
- Hunt for Devonian Period fossils at Montour Preserve Fossil Pit in Centralia, Pennsylvania.
- Hunt for Trilobites in Morocco with GeoWorld Travel.
- Be a fossil excavation volunteer in Alberta Canada through the Phillip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum.
- Hunt for fire agate, opal eggs and quartz crystals on BLM land at Opal Hill Mine near Palo Verde, California.
- Fossil hunt in Rochester, Minnesota at Quarry Hill Park.
- Hunt for opals in northwestern Nevada at Rainbow Ridge Mine, Royal Peacock Mine and Bonanza Opal Mine.
- Celebrate our Geologic Heritage on National Fossil Day, October 17, 2018!
- The Ernst Quarries in Bakersfield, California (near Sharktooth Hill) is home to the largest deposit of Miocene marine fossils in the world.
My favorite books –
Where to buy tools –
Places like U-Dig and Fossil Safari provide you with everything you need to find fossils, but if you want to hunt for fossils elsewhere you’ll need the right tools for the job.
Don’t forget eye protection!