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Frequently Asked Questions

Who Owns Fossil Lake Safari? What Is Its Affiliation With Warfield Fossil Quarries & FossilEra?

The Fossil Safari quarry had been operated by Warfield Fossil Quarries and Rick Hebdon for almost 40 years. In early 2024 the Fossil Safari quarry was acquired by FossilEra as its flagship paleo-tourism offering under the brand FossilEra Adventures. Rick Hebdon remains involved even though Fossil Safari is no longer owned by Warfield Fossil Quarries.

When Are We Open?

We are open to the public 8:00am through 5:00pm, 7 days a week, May 24th through September 30th.

Do I Need To Reserve My Trip?

Pre-booking your trip is recommended, but not required, for individual experiences. You can just show up at the quarry, however, on busy weekends we may reach capacity. Pre-booking is required for groups of over 15 people or for private digs.

Pre-bookings can be canceled without fee up to 48 hours before your scheduled date. Cancellations within 48 hours incur a 25% fee and no-shows will not be refunded.

What Kind of Fossils And How Many Should I Expect To Find?

Being a prehistoric lake bed, the vast majority of fossils are fish. There are about two dozen species that have been found in the quarry, ranging from species that are extremely abundant to ones for which only a single specimen has ever been found. The schooling fish, Knightia and Diplomystus, are the most abundant species, and most visitors will find plenty of both in a day’s work. Several types, including Mioplosus, Priscacara, and Phareodus are uncommon, but you have a decent chance of finding one of these in a day. The highly coveted fossil stingrays are fairly rare, with the quarry producing perhaps a couple dozen complete ones in a season. Large fish like gars and Amia are very rare, with only a few complete ones likely to be found in a season at the quarry.

Plants (including giant palms) as well as fossil insects can occasionally be found.

Fossils of birds, bats, reptiles (crocodiles, turtles, snakes, lizards), and mammals (horses, tapirs, prehistoric otters, lemurs, etc) are extremely rare finds in the Green River Formation. A few of these important specimens might be found across all of the quarries in the Green River Formation during a season. They are considered extremely rare for a reason.

View more information on the fossils found at the quarry.

What Does FossilEra Adventures Provide?
  • Shale loaded with fossils
  • Hammers and tools to split the rock
  • Instructions on how to find the fossils
  • Assistance in finding and identifying fossils
  • Clean toilet facilities (Porta Potties)
  • Shade & Sitting Area
  • Internet Access via Starlink near shaded area
  • Saws to trim down your fossils for transport
What Forms Of Payment Do You Accept?

We accept all credit/debit cards as well as cash payments onsite. You can also book and pre-pay for your trip via the book now button on this website.

What Do I Need To Bring?
  • Plenty of food and water
  • Proper clothing to protect you from the elements (hats, sun shirts, etc)
  • Sunscreen is highly recommended
  • Sturdy shoes (NO open toe shoes or sandals)
  • Work or gardening gloves
  • Storage containers, empty boxes, and wrapping materials for your treasures such as newspaper or paper towels.
Do I Get To Keep The Fossils I Find?

Yes, you get to keep all of the fossils that you find including fish, stingrays, plants, insects, birds, reptiles, etc. The only exceptions are very rare specimens valued at over $100k; We are required to pay royalties to the land owner on their sale price, but we can provide a discounted price to the finder in the event they wanted to purchase them.

That said, there are occasionally scientifically valuable specimens found, primarily the birds, bats and mammals. We highly encourage our customers to donate these, or let us work to get them into an appropriate institution where they can be researched.

What Is The Weather Like?

The quarry is at high altitude (7,300 feet) and the weather can be a little unpredictable. It’s typically quite sunny during the summer, reaching 80-90 Fahrenheit/26-32 Celsius in July and August, but can be substantially cooler early in the day. Thunderstorms and brief rain showers are also quite common, so come prepared.

Is There Cell Phone Service Or Internet At The Quarry

There is no cell phone service within the quarry. You can get a cell signal on the hill above the quarry and we have Starlink Internet accessible near our gift shop.

Can We Bring Pets To The Quarry

Dogs are allowed at the quarry if they are on a leash. Be sure to bring extra water.

What Are The Road Conditions like? Can An RV Or Bus Access The Quarry?

You will travel down about 8 miles of dirt road to reach the quarry. It is generally pretty well maintained allowing for passenger cars, RVs, and even buses to access the quarry most days.

If the Roads are wet & muddy do not attempt to drive to the quarry without a 4X4!

What Services Are Available at the Quarry?

We have limited services available at the quarry. The nearest town where you can get food and gas is Kemmerer which is about a half an hour away. Please come prepared.

Why Do We Charge What we Charge?

We are providing access to hunt arguably the premier fossil beds in the entire world. There are significant costs involved in operating the quarry, including tens of thousands of dollars in annual lease fees, bulldozing of 20-50 feet of overburden to expose the layers, heavy equipment leases, as well as insurance and staffing. It costs us well into the six figures just to get the quarry opened up for the season.

The most productive fossil fish layer is only several feet thick and has 20-50 feet of overburden on top of it that must be removed prior to the season. This productive layer is a valuable and limited resource so we request that guests respect this and not waste it by making sure to split it thin and not just bashing it with a hammer.

Do You Offer 18 Inch Layer Or Night Digs?

The Fossil Lake Safari quarry is a split fish quarry that doesn’t have any deposits of the 18 inch layer. We are not able to offer 18 inch layer or night dig opportunities at this time, but stay tuned…