Where did you dig up that old fossil?
December 15, 2005 7:47 PM   Subscribe

Pint-size paleontology: Where in WA state (Seattle area), is a good place for an 8-year-old to be able to look for and (probably) find fossils? (And take some home)

Mega bonus points for:
- Within an hour's drive of Seattle.
- A good chance of finding fossils that are recognisable as such, or large, or distinctive, (ie rather than indistinct specks).
- Within an hour's walk from the road
- No permission needed, or very straightforward/easy to get permission.
- Being allowed to take some home.
- Nice wilderness / nature area

Does such a place exist? Any recommendations?
posted by -harlequin- to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total)
You might find some answers here:

Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources

Northwest Paleontological Association
posted by ryanhealy at 8:35 PM on December 15, 2005

Fossil Collecting in Washington
posted by frogan at 8:47 PM on December 15, 2005

D'oh! Double link post!
posted by frogan at 8:47 PM on December 15, 2005

Sorry - I didn't label that precisely.
posted by ryanhealy at 8:49 PM on December 15, 2005

Drive North on I-5 to chuckanut drive. there is a great spot on the south end of chuckanut next to a green gate where you can hike down to the beach. the rocks are full of fossilized plants. leaves, branches etc. This is also a great place to find salamanders if that holds any interest for your kid. You can probably get more detailed info by searching on chuckanut and fossil. this is about 1.5 hrs out of seattle.
posted by NickPeters at 10:03 PM on December 15, 2005

oh... bring hammers, chisels or screwdrivers. best way to find fossils is to peel the layers of the rock apart. smash a few first and you will figure out fast what you need to do to reveal the best formed leaves.
posted by NickPeters at 10:06 PM on December 15, 2005

The Street-Smart Naturalist: Field Notes from Seattle includes the tale of an expedition downtown to checkout fossils. Embedded into buildings. Worthwhile book.
posted by mmdei at 10:16 PM on December 15, 2005

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