.All Trips / British Columbia / North America / Western Canada

A visit to the Burgess Shale. Stanley Glacier, Kootenay National Park

04. Stanley Glacier valley. Looking for fossils (54) Trilobite

One of the world’s most famous fossil sites is Canada’s Burgess Shale, which contains a large assortment of ancient and amazingly well-preserved (often soft-bodied) marine fossils.  Originally discovered at high altitude in the mountains of British Columbia’s Yoho National Park in 1909, the Burgess Shale was one of the important reasons for the designation of the region as a UNESCO World Heritage site.  There are two Burgess Shale sites in Yoho National Park you can visit, both long hikes with significant altitude gain.  One is to Mount Stephen and the other to Walcott Quarry.

Recently a sister site has been discovered further south in Kootenay National Park, about 25 miles (40 km) south of the original site.  That …

Read More

Tagged , , , ,
.All Trips / Central USA / North America / Utah

Dinosaur National Monument — Fossil Bone Quarry, Utah

12 Dinosaur National Monument.  Fossil Bone quarry site

Situated in a remote region of northwestern Colorado and extending into eastern Utah, you’ll find Dinosaur National Monument.  This is Green River country, the river winding through memorable rock formations and desert landscapes.  But the real treasure of the region is what’s beneath the ground.  You’ll find some of the world’s largest deposits of dinosaur bones in Dinosaur National Monument.  Our visit today is to the monument’s Fossil Bone Quarry.

In 1909 paleontologist Earl Douglass, working for the Carnegie Museum, discovered plant and animal fossils at this site.  A quarry was established revealing rich deposits of Jurassic-era dinosaur bones.  Dinosaur National Monument was created in 1915, initially protecting 80 acres in the quarry area but now expanded to 210,844 …

Read More

Tagged , , ,
.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Hiking in Horseshoe Canyon; an introduction to Alberta’s Badlands

008 Horseshoe Canyon 06-2014

Most of the hikes I’ve featured on this blog are in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, with good reason.  The scenery in these mountains is truly spectacular, the altitude not overly taxing, and the long summer days are usually dry and sunny.  But there’s a lot more to Alberta than its Rocky Mountains.  Most of the province is actually composed of vast rolling prairies within which you’ll find limited regions known as “the Badlands”.  The Badlands are one of the most unique ecosystems in Alberta, a mostly treeless environment that offers expansive and colorful vistas of eroded, banded mesas, buttes, and coulees.

The easiest place to explore the Badlands is at Horseshoe Canyon, just over an hour’s drive north of Calgary, near Drumheller, …

Read More

Tagged , , , ,

“Pic of the Week”. June 20, 2014: “Black Beauty”, Drumheller, Alberta

2014 25c June 21 T. Rex. Royal Tyrrell Museum

One of the most amazing Natural History museums I’ve ever visited is the Royal Tyrrell Museum in the small town of Drumheller, just over an hour’s drive northeast of Calgary.  The museum sits in the “Badlands” and it’s here in the hills around the museum (and throughout Alberta) that the world’s most extensive deposits of fossilized dinosaur bones are to be found.  I’ve got to write a full blog post on the museum and Alberta’s dinosaur country soon, but as a teaser I thought I’d share the Tyranossaus Rex exhibits at this museum with you today.

One of the highlights of the museum is “Black Beauty”, a rare nearly completely intact T  Rex skeleton, one of a few ever found in …

Read More

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”. June 20, 2014: “Black Beauty”, Drumheller, Alberta