The Burgess Shale Hike with GeoWomen

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GeoWomen is thrilled to invite you for guided group hikes to the Burgess Shale! Burgess Shale was first discovered by Charles Doolittle Walcott. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site tucked away in the Rockies of Yoho National Park only about two hours from Calgary. This magnificent site holds some of the world’s most unique fossils from the Cambrian explosion preserving hard parts and soft tissue. These fossils provide one of the best windows onto the origin of many modern animal groups and ecology of the first complex marine communities. More than a century after the first fossils were discovered, palaeontologists continue visiting these sites and building up collections for a variety of studies.

Burgess Shale
        Image taken from:

Join us for an exciting day in the mountains to learn more about the Burgess Shale and get a chance to meet people from the industry. Professionals, new grads, and students are welcome to register for one of the available hikes.

We are encouraging professionals to sponsor students or new grads who may not be able to afford paying for a hike. If you would like to be a sponsor or be sponsored, please send an email to Muzna Tariq at  For any further inquiries please visit The Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation. Or contact GeoWomen at (403) 466-4789 or


Two hikes are open for registration for Friday, July 14, 2017.

Hike Option 1 |  Walcott Quarry (Burgess Shale)
825 m (2,710 ft) elevation gain, 22 km (14 mi) round trip
$113.40 per person (each group will have 12 people max)
Meet at Burgess Shale Foundation in Field, BC at 8:00AM. Guided hike will begin at 8:30AM.

Site Information
First discovered in 1909 by Charles Doolittle Walcott, recent interpretation of these exquisitely preserved 508 million year old fossils has influenced the scientific view of the evolution of life on Earth. Visit this UNESCO World Heritage site and learn about our three themes: History of Life, Mountain Building and Glaciation, and Climate change in the Canadian Rockies.
The publication of Stephen Jay Gould’s Wonderful Life in 1989 raised public awareness about the exquisitely preserved fossils of the Burgess Shale. Jean-Bernard Caron’s February 2014 announcement about the discovery of the Marble Canyon site in Kootenay NP has further increased interest in visiting the Walcott Quarry. Due to the high demand, the dates for this hike fill quickly. Please also consider visiting the Mt Stephen Fossil Beds, where Burgess Shale-type biota were first recognized in 1886.

Hike Option 2 | Mount Stephen Trilobite Beds
795 m (2,610 ft) elevation gain, 8 km (5 miles) round trip
$94.50 per person (each group will have 12 people max)
Meet at Burgess Shale Foundation in Field, BC@9:00AM. Guided hike will begin@9:30AM.

Site Information
If you are new to the Burgess Shale and wish to see abundant and obvious Cambrian fossils, this is the hike to do. The site is strewn with rock slabs containing appendages of the Cambrian predator Anomalocaris canadensis; trilobites Ogygopsis klotzi, Olenoides serratus and Elrathina cordillerae as well as brachiopods and sponges.
The Mount Stephen Fossil Beds were discovered in 1886, after railway workers reported finding what they called “stone bugs” in the talus on the slopes of Mount Stephen. Learn about the environment in which these creatures lived and perished and why many of the species that are found here do not occur at the Walcott Quarry site.

Registration Details :
1) To register, click the following link:  Burgess Shale Guided Hikes
2) Please pick between Walcott Quarry or Mt. Stephen tour.
3) Scroll down for online booking and specify Friday, July 14th, 2017 for tour hike. If you wish to sponsor a student please add an extra ticket into your booking.
4) Once you click continue you will be prompted to fill in your personal information. If you are sponsoring a student please fill in your own name but provide (403) 466-4789 for contact number and for email. At the end of the page you will notice a “NOTE” section at the end of the page.
5) Please enter GEOWOMEN GROUP into this space, as it will help us place you under out tour group!

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