Explore Burgess Shale fossil hikes
Yoho National Park
What is the Burgess Shale?
508 million years ago – long before dinosaurs roamed Earth - the world was a different place. A shallow sea covered what is now Kootenay and Yoho national parks. Today, Burgess Shale fossils are found high in the mountains pressed into shale-y rock beds, evidence of a diverse marine ecosystem that lived over 500 million years ago. These fossils are famous for how well-preserved they are, showing details, like eyeballs, brains and more. Want to see and hold Burgess Shale fossils for yourself? Join us on a guided hike – with 3 unique locations there is something for everyone!
Guided hike bookings:
- Reservation launch: March 29, 2023 at 8 am MT
- Online 24/7
- By calling: 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783)
Choose your perfect Burgess Shale fossil adventure:
Visit one of the most important paleontological sites in the world! Delicate soft-bodied fossils show surprising connections to modern sea life. Views and fossils: this hike has it all.
Return Distance: 22 km
Elevation Gain: 825 m
Duration: 11 hours
Schedule: 7 am to 6 pm
Meeting Point: Takakkaw falls parking lot, Yoho, B.C.
Explore everything trilobite. Anatomy, preservation, history and more fossils than you believed possible! Journey through steep terrain on this unforgettable Burgess Shale experience.
Return Distance: 8 km
Elevation Gain:795 m
Duration: 7.5 hours
Schedule: 7 am to 2:30 pm
Meeting Point:Yoho National Park Visitor Centre, Field, B.C
Moderate effort, big views! Learn how newly discovered fossils show exciting details in ancient animals. From a third eye to jackknife-like claws: experience the links to modern life.
Return Distance: 10 km
Elevation Gain: 365 m
Duration: 7.5 hours
Schedule: 8 am to 3:30 pm
Meeting Point:Stanley Glacier trailhead, Kootenay, B.C.
Why take a guided hike to the Burgess Shale?
- Informative, expert guides
- Access to restricted UNESCO sites *Mount Stephen and Walcott Quarry
- Touch some of the oldest animal fossils on Earth
- Safe, fun group environment
- Behind the scenes knowledge
- Spectacular scenery
- Must-do Canadian Rockies experience
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