Field Trips

(Left) Arenicolites Gog Gp: Large Arenicolites in Upper Gog Group Strata. (Right) Gog Group Tidal Dunes: Tidally dominated compound dunes of the Gog Formation are commonly separated by bioturbated levels.

Mount Whyte: Bioturbated siltstone and sandstone measures transitional between the Gog Group and Mount Whyte Formation.

Lower Cambrian Bioturbated Beds (Sunday, June 9)

A one-day field seminar to view sections of the Gog Group and Mount Whyte Formation in the area east of Saskatchewan Crossing along Alberta Hwy 11. The focus of the discussion will be the known age constraints for the Gog Group, the significance of bioturbated units within the Gog Group, and overall changes in the sedimentary environment over time. The Mount Whyte Formation, named by Walcott in 2008, is stratigraphically lower than the Stephen Formation. In the field area, the Mount Whyte Formation is distinctive for its’ heavily bioturbated silty shales that are locally very well displayed.

The field seminar will focus on a discussion of analytical techniques that could be used to better understand the studied units. Since this field trip will be outside the national parks, participants will be invited to sample lithologies that are of interest. Given outcrop access, the field trip will be limited to 24 participants. The trip will leave from the front of the Professional Development Center at 8:00 AM on Sunday, June 9th and return to Banff by approximately 5:00 PM, 2 hours before the icebreaker. For those confirmed as attending please arrive in Banff by Saturday, June 8th.  For those interested in attending please register here on a first come basis. The cost will be $75/person (including transportation and lunch).

David Thompson area panorama.



Mt. Stephen Fossil Beds (Thursday, June 13) - NOW FULLY BOOKED

Made famous by the early exploration and collection of fossils by Charles Doolittle Walcott, the Walcott quarry sits on the shoulder of Mt. Walcott in Yoho National Park. Across the valley from the Burgess Shale, lies the Mt. Stephen fossil beds - an excellent collection of Cambrian trace and body fossils, most notable for its well-preserved trilobites. Neither of these localities are accessible without escort by a licensed guide, as they are protected UNESCO world heritage sites. We have now arranged with the Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation a field trip to the Mt. Stephen Fossil Beds (~$120/person, including a guided tour, bus and packed lunch) for Thursday, June 13th, immediately following the conference. Note: Due to trail conditions (i.e., avalanche hazards, seasonal road closures) access to the Walcott Quarry is not be available until early July. As a consequence of group size restrictions allowed at the sites, we are only able to offer 24 spots, which translates into two separate guided tours of 12 persons maximum. For those interested in attending please register here on a first come basis.


Both guided tours will leave together from the front of the Professional Development Center at precisely 7:15 AM on Thursday, June 13th to meet the guides from the Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation at the visitor center in Yoho National Park by 8:30 AM. The first tour will depart at 8:30 AM and the second tour will depart at 9:00 AM. Both tours will return to Banff by approximately 5:00 PM.


Note: Prime hiking season in Banff, Yoho, and Kootenay National Parks are generally from early July until mid-September. Although trails in the valley bottoms may be in excellent condition in June, alpine trails such as the Mt. Stephen trilobite beds may be subject to early season conditions. Early season conditions may increase the difficulty of hikes or make trails impassible and can include, snow (and associated avalanche risks), snowmelt, mud, and/or recent trail obstructions. Come prepared for potential early season conditions, as well as temperatures that can fluctuate between near freezing to upwards of 20ºC during the day, and between valley bottoms and alpine passes. For more information on the Burgess Shale and Mt. Stephen Fossil Bed Hikes see: and

Other good photos for Mt. Stephen: