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Monday, August 20, 2012

High Creek Trilobites

We had another great getaway this past weekend.  I've been wanting to go find some northern Utah trilobites.  There are two spots I know of that would work- the Wellsville Mountains, and High Creek.  Since the Wellsville Mountains involve a hike of over 1000 vertical feet to get to where the fossils are, I decided to look at High Creek a little more closely.  I talked with Dave Liddell at the USU Geology Department and he told me that it's not a long or difficult hike to get to the shale layers up High Creek Canyon.  Done and done- we're going to High Creek! 
We drove up through Logan and most of Cache Valley on the way to Richmond, then just up from Richmond to High Creek Canyon.  There's a small forest service run campground in the canyon, and plentiful primitive sites along the road.  We found a nice site in a grove of maple trees, set up camp, and cooked dinner. This would be especially beautiful in the fall.  After watching the fire and looking at the stars, it was time for bed. 
Saturday morning we got up, ate breakfast, and headed out to find fossils!  The shale is high on the ridge between the north and south forks of High Creek.  We took the North Fork trail, crossed the creek and fence, then hiked up the ridge.  After climbing a small sub-peak, we went down into a saddle, where just on the other side were some diggings and trilobite quarries.  
We actually found quite a few trilobites on the waste rock from the pits.  They're not big, and probably fairly common varieties, but they sure are fun to find!  We spent 2-3 hours just looking and finding the little treasures! 
After the hike back, we got back to camp and I went down to High Creek with one of the kids to go fishing and play in the water.  The water was really clear, and after missing two fish, it was time to play.  We spent an hour or so throwing rocks, wading, and having a relaxing afternoon. 

Nearest City: Richmond, UT
Location: N 41°  58.609 W 111° 42.065
Time Needed: at least half a day
Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous due to route finding and elevation gain
Kid Friendly: generally
Additional Info:


  1. Very nice! I was thinking about taking the kids to the House Range again this Fall but this looks like a great alternative. Are there any issues with private property or mining claims in Spring Canyon?

  2. So fun! I bet your kids think they have the best parents ever, you guys are awesome taking them camping all the time! I think that would be so fun to find the fossils! You get to keep them right?

  3. Cool place. But not good for late April — north creek is too high to cross. Also you have to park 1-2 miles from trailhead. Will try again in summer.