An 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.
At 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).
Studing 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.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Randle Robertson at 1-800-343-3006.
Camping and accomodation
Fossil closeupLake O'hara Reservations. $$$
Toll Free in North America 1-866-634-5665
Bears Den Guesthouse
Canadian Rockies Inn
Cathedral Mountain Lodge
P.O Box 40
Field, B.C. V0A 1G0
Coyote's Den Guest House
The Emerald Lake Lodge
Kicking Horse Lodge
E-mail bookings and info: email@example.com
Mt. Burgess Guesthouse
E-mail bookings and info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lake O'Hara Campgrounds
Mt. Van Horne Guesthouse
The Old Church Guesthouse
Fax number: (250) 343 -6388
Sunset Guest House
Spiral Tunnels Guesthouse