Washington may not have a huge legacy for finding dinosaurs but that doesn’t mean our soil is lacking fossils. While it’s unlikely that you’ll discover anything as surprising as Sea Tac’s giant sloth, you can definitely dig up your own treasures. So if you’re ready to try your hand at fossil digging you’ll want to know about Stonerose Interpretive Center.
Stonerose Interpretive Center is located in Republic, Washington, which is about 300 miles east of Seattle or around a five-hour drive. The center is open from May to October and sits on an area that was once part of an ancient lake, meaning that plant, insect, and fish fossils have been found here. Today, there is no water present but rather a field of 50 million years old layers of shale.
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So how do you get to digging? After visiting the center and purchasing your admission you’ll be given an orientation on where and how to find fossils. Once you’ve finished digging a staff member will identify your finds and give you a reference sheet with the names of your fossils. Keep in mind though that you’re only allowed to keep three fossils.
That being said, you could be a part of paleontology history. Because if you find a fossil that hasn’t been seen before a resident paleontologist will describe, classify and name your fossil. Get this though, your new fossil will get published in a scientific journal, and you’ll be given credit for its discovery!
So find a chisel, your best digging clothes, and get ready to have an adventure of a lifetime this spring.