What to Expect

Check-in

Before you begin searching for fossils, everyone in your party must visit the Stonerose Interpretive Center and purchase a site admission sticker. A Stonerose staff member will provide information on how to and where to dig for fossils. Later, they’ll identify the finds and give you a reference sheet with the names of your fossils. You get to keep the three you choose.  *

For returning visitors, before you can collect fossils at Stonerose you must register and receive a refresher orientation.

Digging must begin by 3 pm as the fossil site closes at 4 pm.

Admission Fees for Fossil Site

Entry to the Interpretive Center and gift shop is free.

Fees for hunting fossils at the Boothill Fossil Site.

Rules

  1. Searching for or removing fossils is permitted only after purchasing a site admission sticker at the Stonerose Interpretive Center and only during the hours the Center is open.
  2. All individuals at the fossil site must have an admission sticker with them.
  3. All finds must be shown to a Stonerose staff member.
  4. *The Stonerose Interpretive Center reserves the right to retain any fossils that are of scientific value or significant to the Stonerose collection.
  5. Visitors are allowed to take home three fossil pieces per person per day. Commercial use is strictly prohibited.
  6. Do not look for fossils in high areas or as instructed by Stonerose staff.
  7. The fossil site is within walking distance of the Center. There is handicapped parking at the fossil site only. No motor homes, campers or cars with trailers.

Equipment

Visitors may rent hammers and cold chisels ($5.00 plus tax) for the day at the Center.You may also bring your own tools to use in splitting apart the shale. A medium (1/2-inch-size cold chisel is best, but people have used old screwdrivers, putty knives, etc.) A hammer of any kind can be used to tap on the chisel handle. You may bring paper towels or newspapers to wrap the fossils in. Fossils can be damaged by contact with hard objects; wrapping prevents scratching.

Clothing & Protection

We recommend that you wear shoes that offer protection from sharp rocks. Tennis shoes are okay: thongs and sandals are not. We suggest you wear long pants, and bring goggles or sunglasses as protection from flying rock chips. Since the site is located in direct sunlight, we also advise you to bring protection from the sun including a hat, and a bottle of water. Water is available for purchase at the site and Center.

Handicap Accessibility

The Stonerose Interpretive Center is handicapped accessible. There is also handicapped parking at the fossil site, but, depending on your needs, you may need to bring an assistant with you to help you access the fossil shale.

Helpful Area Links

Register at the Stonerose Interpretive center.
Register at the Stonerose Interpretive center.
After you've completed registration, head up to Boothill Fossil Site.
After you’ve completed registration, head up to Boothill Fossil Site.
Use your own tools or rent tools from us to search for fossils.
Use your own tools or rent tools from us to search for fossils.
Proudly display the fossils you find at Boothill Fossil Site.
Proudly display the fossils you find at Boothill Fossil Site.
Return to the Interpretive Center where your fossils will be examined and Identified by Stonerose experts.
Return to the Interpretive Center where your fossils will be examined and Identified by Stonerose experts.
With luck, you may find a fossil like this leaf of an ancient sycamore tree.
With luck, you may find a fossil like this leaf of an ancient sycamore tree.