Open volunteer positions for Burgess Shale fossil hikes

 
 

Editor's note — Summer time in the Rockies opens up endless hiking opportunities and some of the best outings anywhere are the hikes to the fossil beds in Yoho National Park. Yoho Park is actively seeking volunteers to join their guided group hikes to the different Burgess Shale locations. Read on to learn about the hikes and how to volunteer.

 Burgess Shale at the Walcott Quarry. Photo: Mary Caperton Morton

Burgess Shale at the Walcott Quarry. Photo: Mary Caperton Morton

Discovering the Burgess Shale Fossils

 Burgess Shale locations. Credit: K. Cantner, AGI.

Burgess Shale locations. Credit: K. Cantner, AGI.

The name "Burgess Shale" refers to the fossil ridge-line between Wapta Mountain and Mount Field in Yoho National Park, home to many well-preserved 505 million year old fossils - regarded as one of the world's most important fossil sites.

The Burgess Shale fossils were first brought to the attention of researches by Charles Walcott in 1909, and was later given the title of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981. Since then, the Burgess Shale draws many visitors per year to the National Parks.

Learn more about the Burgess Shale Fossils on the Virtual Museum.

Youtube: Burgess Shale Interpretive Hike

How do I see the fossils?

Since the fossils are a valuable resource and are prone to theft, the sites are restricted to guided hikes only. We've gathered a few quick points to help you get your bearings before you book your own trip:

  • you can call or book online here
  • tours vary between 7.5 - 11 hours depending on the location, and the cost is between $35 - 70
  • hikes are limited to 12 people per group
  • reservations open January 12th, 2018
  • a standby policy exists if you are unable to reserve a spot
 A Parks Canada interpreter shares the story of the Burgess Shale.  

A Parks Canada interpreter shares the story of the Burgess Shale.
 

How can I help out?

Parks Canada is currently looking for hiking assistants to join on these guided tours. No significant experience or knowledge of the Burgess Shale is required - you'll be learning on the hike. Additionally, the hikes will be free for you!

For more information:


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