Skip to content

Fossil Fish Dig Excursion

 

The Vertebrate Paleontology Experience.

Have you ever wanted to experience paleontology in a unique way? Here at In Stone Fossils, we want to give you an exhilarating experience discovering fossils with your family or friends in a private exclusive quarry with access to the world renown Green River Formation. We realize schedules vary so we offer a variety of tour options. We can even bring the quarry rock to our fossil shop in Kemmerer for you to dig; essentially bringing the quarry to you! Although our flagship tour offers the most our other options are described further.

 
The Experience Of A Lifetime - Our Flagship Tour

This excursion allows you to dig for fossils in the best layers of the Green River Formation; the world renown 18-inch Layer and the sandwich beds where the rarest fossils of this formation can be found. Take advantage of this premier excursion for only $1500 per person with a minimum of 4 people per tour. We give a 10% discount to a party of 5 or more, so bring your friends and family!

 Dig For Fossil Fish While A Gormet Meal Of Your Choice Is Prepared For You And Your Guests

Your Excursion includes following:

- All accommodations will be provided by our In Stone Fossils team at the new luxurious remodeled Opera House in the heart of historical downtown Kemmerer. This is a bed and breakfast style atmosphere so there are not many rooms available. Booking your tour early will ensure you these accommodations. We can make other accommodations if there is no availability.

- $100 Voucher will be given to your group at the time of your arrival for coffee or the delicious baked goods at Fossil Fuel Coffee Co. Just 4 doors down from the Opera House.

- Upon arrival to our gallery beverages and refreshments, including a Charcuterie board, will be made available for your enjoyment. The In Stone team will discuss your upcoming dig, describe the many fossils on display in our gallery, their environment they once lived, and especially the fossils which you are likely to find during your evening dig…… approx. what time to meet at gallery? Late afternoon?

- Private transportation to and from the fossil quarry as well as access to this amazing private site.

- Spring water locally sourced from Willow Springs will be provided to you the entire evening. As well as any snack food or beverages at your request, just call or send us a message!

- A Gourmet meal will be prepared for you at the quarry while you are digging for your first fossils of the evening. We will prepare your special meal to order; omnivore, vegan, vegetarian, sport drinks, wine, beer... just ask! We accommodate for food restrictions, no problem at all! If what is on the menu does not suit every palate, we have a private catering service that provides an exquisite menu with delicious items. (Additional fees will be added for catering direct to the quarry.)

- Your very own experienced guides will dig alongside you, show you the best layers to split, how to split the rock, and make certain you find the best fossils to provide you the best experience possible.

- All hand tools are provided for you. We recommend you bring sturdy close-toed shoes, gloves, a hat, and sunglasses. Some guests may consider bringing knee-pads as well, but if you forget or realize you need some, we can provide them for you. The temperature does drop to around 50°F at night. Sweater or jacket is suggested but sometimes not needed.

- During your dig, the In Stone team will take photographs of your tour members and even provide a drone flyover to forever capture this lifetime experience.

 

What you can expect during your dig

With our guides, you will start out by digging in our sandwich beds or split fish layers where you get the instant gratification of splitting rock and having fossil specimens appearing right in front of your eyes. Approximately three hours will be spent doing this part of the tour. Don't be afraid to ask your guides questions or provide you with any drinks or snack needs during this time. We will be happy to serve. This sets the tone to what we will be doing the rest of the night. Your expert guides will then wrap and box all your specimens so that you can safely take home to enjoy. After this warmup dig; its dinner time. Your group will be sitting down to an elegant setting in a primitive area of Wyoming, overlooking a beautiful valley gazing upon Fossil Butte National Monument.

After watching an amazing sunset over dinner, the real adventure begins. You'll be digging alongside highly experienced tour guides who will educate you with all the knowledge you need to dig the famous 18-inch Layer—where the world's best preserved museum-quality specimens are collected! Our 18-inch Layer has revealed some of the most paramount of fossils of the Green River Formation. Also exclusive to our quarry, we have some of the most beautiful mineral replacement that adds unique color staining that truly can make your fossil a piece of art. You'll find our fossil fish to have deep earthy red tones with gorgeous detail in beautiful colored rock. Feel free to ask questions all night long.

At In Stone Fossils we love what we do, that's why we're here; to give you the best experience and information about the Green River Formation that we possibly can. We can do this because we do not work in large crowds, we customize our tours so your get the most.

 

What fossils you can keep

You get to keep most all your fish and plants, even the larger specimens such as gars under 24", stingrays, paddlefish under 36" and Amia under 36". Some rare specimens, due to their scientific nature, are retained and will be studied for academic research. On an average night your party (typical party of 4) will find 20 to 50 specimens ranging from a variety of fish, plants and insects etc. discovered within the premier 18-inch Layer, Sandwich, and Split Fish layers.

 

Fossil Preparation:

Not all fossils come out of the ground ready for display, in fact most don’t. To bring out the best of your fossil’s beauty you are given the option to have your fossils professionally prepared by one of our highly skilled fossil preparators for additional charge of $50/hour. Due to the uniqueness of each fossil, preparation costs vary and this will be thoroughly discussed. Our team uses the best museum-quality tools, including surgical microscopes, and we employ the latest techniques in handling fossils for our guests. All 18-inch layer specimens are covered with matrix that needs to be removed by using surgical microscopes, air scribes, and air abrasives. Because of we believe in the long-term value of these fossils, we focus on the quality of all specimens. We prepare them to preserve their beauty as well as their scientific value for future generations to enjoy and potentially be studied. This investment has potential long-term returns for you. Our preparation process usually takes 6-12 twelve months to return the fossil to you. Preparation hours on all specimens will be discussed at the end of the night so you have full clarity of the process and your specimen’s potential.

We can ship large or bulk specimens directly to your home with utmost care. We build custom wooden crates to ensure the safety and delivery of your specimens (payment will be rendered before specimens are shipped).

DISCLAIMER: *In Stone Fossils has right to first refusal for fossil preparation. 

 

Additional Tour Options: Extras by In Stone Fossils

If you are just passing by and not booking a tour or you want to add a few more items to your tour we offer much more. There are so many amazing things to do here in Wyoming. So, if you choose to stay a couple more days you can build your custom tour package.

We will be providing fossil bearing rock that can be split right here at our shop in the heart of Kemmerer, Wyoming. Bringing rock directly from the quarry to our shop provides a great opportunity for those that don't want to travel 30 miles of dirt roads outside of town to discover the Green River Formation. This works very well for people that have large vehicles that cannot make it to the quarry or people that are just short on time to get to their next destination and just want to make a quick split. We will have guides at the shop to assist you; supply you with rock and the tools to meticulously split down the rock and you will be able to keep everything you find. We will also be selling bulk rock by the pound for your enjoyment. If you would like to take some unsplit rock with you for the journey ahead, we will be happy to load you up. We will be doing this starting in May before the quarries even open and ending in October. Dates are based on weather permitting for on-site splitting.

If you and your party would love to spend the next day going to some waterfalls that are absolutely exhilarating and relaxing from your previous night of digging, we can make accommodations to take you to enjoy these amazing sites. This would include transportation and a sack lunch. (We can discuss pricing options upon request).

Within the Green River Formation there are quarries that provide daytime digging activities in the sandwich beds. These quarries are considered shoreline and have an abundance of interesting and unique specimens that are usually not found anywhere else within the formation, even the 18-inch Layer. If you would like to spend 4 hours digging within these private exclusive quarries, with no other people around, our team can assist you with that daytime activity. The reason we offer this is some people just can't get enough, just like us. (We can discuss pricing options upon request).

Not only do we have some of the best fossils in the world located right here in Wyoming, but we also have some of the best fly fishing waters, including the Hamsfork and Green River, and an experience guide to get the job done. We are providing a link to an expert if this is something that you would love to do in addition.

 

Plan Your Trip

Our excursion slots fill quickly, so please book in advance. Open months are June, July, August, and Early September. You're welcome to contact us anytime for additional information. Annually we only have 15 to 25 slots available.

Digging for fossils in the dark with incandescent lights