Since its discovery in 1909 by paleontologist Charles Walcott, the Burgess Shale has been widely regarded as one of the world’s most important animal fossil sites. They are now recognized as a key part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site. What were initially called ‘stone bugs’ are actually the soft-bodied remains of half a billion year old sea creatures. They are so exquisitely preserved that scientists can actually see eyeballs, brains and identify what they ate for breakfast!
Accessible only to those registered as part of a guided group, knowledgeable Parks Canada Heritage Interpreters lead seasonal hikes to the Walcott Quarry and Mount Stephen Fossil beds in Yoho National Park.
These challenging and educational hikes, take visitors high into Yoho’s subalpine forest to experience fossils first hand. Breathtaking views and (if you’re lucky) wildlife viewing are all part of the experience.
Parks Canada Heritage Interpreters also lead seasonal guided hikes to the family-friendly Stanley Glacier fossil site in Kootenay National Park. This guided hike along one of Kootenay’s most popular half day trails, combines park stories with geology, fire-swept forests, wildflowers and incredible views. Many new species that have never been seen are still being uncovered in quarries not far from the Stanley Glacier site.
Reservations are required.