Field Trips

All field trips are FREE.

Attendees may sign up for field trips at the Friday evening lecture or Saturday and Sunday morning at the Information Booth set up outside the museum. 

Prepare to caravan to field trip sites in your own vehicle. High clearance is recommended for the rock art trips. 

Please pack plenty of water, a sack lunch and fill your tank ahead of time. 

Sign-ups are first come first serve. 

The first field trip departs the museum at 10am on Saturday.

Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry
Saturday 10 AM – 3:30 PM
Capacity: 30

Join paleontologist Jim Kirkland on a tour of one of Utah’s most spectacular dinosaur bone sites – the Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry. The quarry is an ancient braided-river channel with isolated dinosaur bones and many relatively intact skeletons shallowly buried there. Five species of dinosaur tentatively identified in the field include a diversity of long-necked sauropods (Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Camarasaurus, and perhaps Brachiosaurus) and Utah’s State Fossil, the carnivorous Allosaurus.
Dr. Jim Kirkland has been the Utah State Paleontologist with the Utah Geological Survey over the past 20 years. He issues permits for paleontological research on Utah state lands, keeps tabs on paleontological research and issues across the state, and promotes Utah’s paleontological resources for the public good. An expert on the Mesozoic, he has spent more than forty five years excavating fossils across the southwestern US and Mexico.


Cretaceous Marine Fossils Collecting
Saturday 11 AM – 3 PM
Capacity: 25 people

On this field trip, we will collect fossils from the Cretaceous aged Mancos Shale.  At Stop 1 we will collect Oysters from the Tununk Member (about 92 million years old).  At Stop 2 we will collect ammonites and bivalves from the Juana Lopez Member (about 89 million years old).

This trip departs from the John Wesley Powell Museum. High clearance recommended, but any vehicle can make this trip if the roads are dry. If the roads are muddy, the group may expect to hike ¾ mile into the first dig site. Round trip travel is 36 miles and the trip lasts 3-5 hours. Bring water, lunch, and a rock hammer.

Trip leader Kevin Bylund is an amateur paleontologist who has been collecting ammonites in Utah for the last 50 years (see www.ammonoid.com).  For the last 11 years, he has been working with scientists from Utah and Europe on Triassic ammonoids and other fossils in Utah, Nevada, and Idaho.


Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracks – Bartlett Wash
Saturday Noon – 4 PM
Capacity: 20 people

Join paleontologist ReBecca Hunt-Foster on a tour of the Mill Canyon dinosaur track site located 30-40 miles south of Green River. The recently excavated site features tracks from 8 different species of dinosaur (as well as a crocodile) all in one spot.

This trip departs from the John Wesley Powell Museum. Any vehicle can make the trip. Round trip travel from Green River 66 miles and the trip lasts 2-3 hours.

Trip Leader ReBecca Hunt-Foster is the new Monument Paleontologist and Museum Curator at Dinosaur National Monument. She previously worked as the District Paleontologist for the Canyon Country District of the BLM.

Travel info TBA


Coal Canyon Rock Art
Saturday 1 PM – 4:30 PM
Capacity: 15 people

Travel east from Green River on dirt roads to the foothills of the Bookcliffs with Steve Acerson of the Utah Rock Art Research Association. On this trip we will see images of native cultures left hundreds/thousands of years ago. We’ll short hike to the boulders with the images on them.

This trip departs from the John Wesley Powell Museum. A high clearance vehicle is recommended. Round trip travel is ~50 miles and the trip length 3-4 hours. Bring water, snacks and walking sticks if needed. A camera and binoculars are recommended.

Steven Acerson past President of URARA, is currently a regional representative to the BLM Salt Lake Field Office. As a member of URARA he has led field trips for the last 8 years. Raised in Green River, Steve has enjoyed the canyons and rock art images the native cultures left behind for us to ponder.


Fossil Point Dinosaur Graveyard
Saturday 4PM – 6:30 PM
Sunday 11 AM – 2:30 PM
Capacity: 30

Join paleontologist Greg McDonald on a tour of Fossil Point, a site where boulders yield large dinosaur bones that date as far back as the Jurassic Era, 145 million years ago. This extraordinary site, very close to Green River, is home to large dinosaur vertebrae, leg bones, and fantastic views of the La Sal mountains.

Saturday Only:
Golden Hour Poetry Reading With Dasha Bulatova @ Fossil Point

Immediately following the tour of Fossil Point, poet Dasha Bulatova will give a reading from “Cairns”, a collection she wrote while an artist-in-residence in Green River.

Dasha Bulatova is a poet living in Oakland, CA. She holds a BA in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley, and is currently an MFA student at the San Francisco State University. Her work intends to examine and interweave the poetics of space, ecology, and narrative. Her work can be found in Berkeley Poetry Review, Cal Literary and Arts Magazine, Inverness Almanac, and The Meadow.


Giant Clam Fossils at the Platyceramus Hills
Sunday 10 AM – 1 AM
Capacity: 30

Join paleontologist Jim Kirkland on a tour of a giant clam fossil site in the Mancos Shale. These clams lived 85 million years ago, during the Age of Dinosaurs, when this part of Utah was under the ocean. The giant clam fossils reach 3 to 4 feet across and could have weighed as much as 50 pounds when they were alive.

Dr. Jim Kirkland has been the Utah State Paleontologist with the Utah Geological Survey over the past 20 years. He issues permits for paleontological research on Utah state lands, keeps tabs on paleontological research and issues across the state, and promotes Utah’s paleontological resources for the public good. An expert on the Mesozoic, he has spent more than forty five years excavating fossils across the southwestern US and Mexico.

Travel Info TBA


Buckhorn Wash Rock Art
Sunday 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Capacity: 15 people

Join Steve Acerson of the Utah Rock Art Research Association on a guided trip to see the rock art panels of Buckhorn Wash in the San Rafael Swell. On this trip we will see images of native cultures left hundreds/thousands of years ago.

This trip departs from the John Wesley Powell Museum. A high clearance vehicle is recommended. Round trip travel is ~ 120 miles. Trip length 4-6 hours. Bring water, snacks and walking sticks if needed. Camera and binoculars recommended.

Steven Acerson past President of URARA, is currently a regional representative to the BLM Salt Lake Field Office. As a member of URARA he has led field trips for the last 8 years. Raised in Green River, Steve has enjoyed the canyons and rock art images the native cultures left behind for us to ponder.


Grassy Trail Creek Archaeological Site
Sunday 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Capacity: TBA

Join Dr. Tim Riley as he explores the cultural landscape of Grassy Trail Creek. One of the major drainages along the Book Cliffs, Grassy Trail Creek has been called home by human communities for thousands of years. Visit a Fremont village site, learn about the radical labor disputes and martial law of the early 20th century, investigate the Sunnyside coal coking ovens used to fuel the steel industry, and wonder about the artists who made the rock art in this lesser known area of eastern Utah.

This field trip meets at the Junction of Hwy 6 & Route 123 (near East Carbon) at 1pm. Attendees should depart Green River by noon. Trip time from Route 123 turnoff is 3-4 hours. Round trip travel is ~120 miles. Accessible to all cars. Expect some dirt road driving and short hikes. Bring water, snacks, sun gear, and comfortable walking gear.

Dr. Tim Riley is the Curator of Archaeology at the Prehistoric Museum @Utah State University Eastern in Price, UT. Within the field of archaeology, his specialty is paleoethnobotany, or the study of past human use of plants for subsistence and other aspects of material culture.