Do you have anything that has been on your bucket list for years and years? Long before the term bucket list ever even existed? For me, that one thing has been to find a fossil. So when we went as a family on a recent fossil hunting adventure, I was more excited than the kids! This was it! My family was going on a Fossil Hunting Adventure!
If you are going to go fossil hunting, you need to visit a place rich in fossils, perhaps one of the richest dinosaur fossil beds in the world. Drumheller, Alberta fits that bill perfectly!
Located in an area called the badlands, Drumheller is famous for all of the amazing fossil finds. It is also home of the Royal Tyrrell Museum.
We hiked around the museum but that area was so well combed I didn’t expect to find anything and we didn’t. But the museum was amazing.
As part of my hunt for an elusive fossil we drove up to the hoodoos (these amazing rock formations), and from there set out on a hike.
We hiked and climbed and explored. It was so much fun and the rock formations were amazing. I was absolutely fascinated and my phone is now filled with pictures of rocks and earth formations.
I spent so much time hunched over looking for fossils I started getting dizzy and my husband had to tell me to stand up already because all he was getting was pictures of my butt!
I examined every rock, I looked in every crevasse and cave.
But no luck.
The next day we went to a place called Horse Thief Canyon and did more hiking. It was a beautiful place, but again. I came up empty handed.
We spent three days hiking and hunting for fossils with no luck.
For bucket list items I think this is kind of like catching that “big fish”. It’s going to take a lot of time and patience, but this is one adventure that is so much fun I don’t mind if it takes a while to check it off.
I know we will return to Drumheller again, it is such a unique and stunning place. We will also hopefully visit some other areas known for being rich dinosaur beds. One day I will find my fossil!
Some tips for fossil hunting:
– Prepare for a fossil hunting hike just like you would any hike and take proper safety precautions. See my post on tips for safe and successful family hiking trips.
– Know what you are looking for. Read, visit museums and learn what fossils look like in the area where you are searching. Each area is usually rich in a specific type of fossils or fossils from a specific era. Knowing this can really aid your search.
– Know the laws. The laws regarding fossil finds vary widely. It is important you know the rules and laws and abide by them. Just because you find a fossil, doesn’t mean you own it or even get to keep it. The fines can be hefty, so educate and protect yourself.
– Don’t use brute force. If you find something and it is not easy to pick up or remove from the ground, seek proper help. I heard a heartbreaking story of some tourists that destroyed a fossil because they had no clue what they were doing and tried to dig it out of the ground using the wrong approach. Shattering it.
– Be responsible and care for yourself, nature and ancient artifacts. Fossils are irreplaceable, so use caution and care at all times.
– Make it educational for the whole family and learn something new. These types of adventures are fantastic hands-on learning for all ages.
– Have fun! Fossil hunting is like the greatest treasure hunt ever!