Burgess Shale

Page Type
Area/Range
Location:
British Columbia, Canada, North America
Activities:
Hiking
Season:
Summer, Fall
Elevation:
7500 ft / 2286 m
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Burgess Shale
Created On: Sep 4, 2007
Last Edited On: Jan 16, 2010

Overview

FossilsAn example of what you can find at the Burgess Shale. But remember you can't keep it.
If fossils are your thing this is a place not to be missed. Not open to the public except by special permission or on one of the "Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation's" guided trips. This area is one of the most important examples of fossles in the "Cambrian period". The creatures found here lived on a reef called the "Cathedral Escarpment". Once under the sea this area has been pushed up and forms a ridge between Wapta Mountain and Mt. Field. Called the "Walcott quarry" it gets its name from Charles D. Walcott, Secretary of the "Smithsonian Institution" between 1910 and 1924. He first discovered the Burgess Shale fossils on Fossil Ridge in 1909. He was directed to the area by railway workers who reported finding "Rock Bugs". He helped collect more than 65,000 specimens from the "Cambrian period", 505 million years ago. Since then more than 350,000 fossils have been collected for various musems around the world. Over many millions of years, these animals were buried by sediments, and their remains fossilized. There are incredible examples of Anomalocaris, Dinomischus, Marrella, Opabinia and Pikaia among many others.

In 1981, the Burgess Shale was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Getting There

Fossil RidgeAt the Burgess Shale.
The area is located near Field, British Columbia in Yoho National Park.
Distances from Field, BC

Emerald Lake - 10 km
Takakkaw Falls - 17 km
Lake Louise - 27 km
Banff - 85 km
Golden - 57 km
Radium Hot Springs - 157 km
Calgary - 213 km
Revelstoke - 205 km

From Calgary it is just a matter of heading to Lake Louise via the Trans Canada Highway (1). Field is located just 20 minutes further west of Lake Louise. Turn off the highway and follow the signed road to Takakkaw Falls. There is ample parking here. Note do not go unless you have arranged a trip withe the Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation or have recieved special permission to enter the area of the Burgess Shale.

Elevation gain: 760 m (2,500 ft).
Distance: 20 km (12 mi) round trip.
Difficulty: Moderately difficult (10 hours).
Departure time: 8:00 AM MDT.
Return time: 6:30 PM MDT (approximately).

Red Tape

Burgess ShaleStuding fossils at the site.
Not open to the public except by special permission or on one of the "Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation's" guided trips. There is a charge for these hikes. Click on the site for current pricing information.

In 2007 the costs were $69 per person; $38 students, $16 per child (under 12), including GST and a one-year subscription to the Foundation newsletter, Marrella. The student rate only applies to field trips with a college, university or school.

There are 3 trips available:
- Burgess Shale – Walcott Quarry
- Mt. Stephen Fossil Beds
- Climate Change hike


To book one of these highly recommended trips contact the:
Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation.
http://www.burgess-shale.bc.ca/index.php
http://www.burgess-shale.bc.ca/burgess.php
E-mail: info@burgess-shale.bc.ca or contact Randle Robertson at 1-800-343-3006.

Camping and accomodation

FossilsFossil closeup
Lake O'hara Reservations. $$$
Phone: 250-343-6433

FIELD:
Alpine Guesthouse

Toll Free in North America 1-866-634-5665
(250) 343-6878
Email: info@alpineguesthouse.ca
Website: www.alpineguesthouse.ca

Fireweed Hostel
www.fireweedhostel.com
E-mail: info@fireweedhostel.com

Bears Den Guesthouse
(250) 343-6439
E-mail: zirke@uniserve.com
website: www.bearsdenguesthouse.ca
website: www.bbcanada.com/6906.html

Canadian Rockies Inn
(250) 343-6046
E-mail: cdnrockies@telus.net
Website: www.canadianrockiesinn.com

Cathedral Mountain Lodge
(250) 343-6442
P.O Box 40
Field, B.C. V0A 1G0
E-mail: info@cathedralmountain.com
Website: www.cathedralmountain.com

Coyote's Den Guest House
(250)343-6034
E-mail: coyotesden@redshift.bc.ca

The Emerald Lake Lodge
1-800-663-6336
Websire: www.crmr.com

Kicking Horse Lodge
1-800-659-4944
E-mail bookings and info: khlodge@rockies.net
Website: www.kickinghorselodge.net

Mt. Burgess Guesthouse
(250) 343-6480
E-mail bookings and info: reserve@mtburgessguesthouse.ca
Website: www.mtburgessguesthouse.ca

Lake O'Hara Campgrounds
http://www.bcrockies.worldweb.com/

Mt. Van Horne Guesthouse
(250) 343-6380
E-mail: mtvanhorne@hotmail.com

The Old Church Guesthouse
(250) 343-6345
E-mail: info@oldchurchguesthouse.ca
Fax number: (250) 343 -6388
www.oldchurchguesthouse.ca

Sunset Guest House
(250) 343-6333
E-mail: sunsetgh@uniserve.com

Spiral Tunnels Guesthouse
1-877-FIELD-BC
Website: www.bbCanada.com/7352HTML

Wildflower Guesthouse
(250) 343-6707
Website: www.wildflowerguesthouse.com

Yoho Guesthouse
(250) 343-6445
E-mail: crallen@redshift.bc.ca

External Links



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Burgess Shale

Area/Range
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