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Burgess Shale

Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada
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Type: Historic Sites, Hiking Trails, Outdoors
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Attraction details
Owner description: The famous Burgess Shale is located in the magnificent Canadian Rockies of southeastern British Columbia. The site is on a ridge between two mountaintops, near the town of Field. Ninety kilometres east, across the Continental Divide, lies the resort town of Banff. To get to the Walcott quarry, you hike a scenic trail a distance of about 10km, taking about 3 hours. All around you is the spectacular scenery of Yoho National Park, including Takakkaw Falls, Emerald Lake, numerous glaciers, and high mountains.
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17 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014

My teenage son, his friend and I recently stayed in Field, BC and went with the Geoscience Foundation guided hike (different from the Parks guided one) up Mt. Stephen to the Burgess Shale. This hike is different from the Walcott Quarry. We decided to do the Mt. Stephen hike because of the quality and quantity of 500 million year old... More

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Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

I was worried about the climbing stairs for 260 floors of a building description. But only the beginning and end of the one way trip are really difficult for us bit out of shape hikers Foggy day so views were poor but guild has no control of that

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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
488 reviews 488 reviews
178 attraction reviews
165 helpful votes 165 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014

Approached from Emerald Lake area, it is that the shale was discovered to have remains of very early life. This area was once an inland sea. A mud slide buried the creatures so they are very well preserved. There are information boards that tell the history with continual updates from further data.

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Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
289 reviews 289 reviews
79 attraction reviews
198 helpful votes 198 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

I see quite a lot has been written already about the hike from Takkakaw Falls to the Walcott Quarry, so all I will add from that perspective is that it really helps to be reasonably fit for this hike, and it is essential that you take lots of layers (including waterproof jacket and pants) with you. I hiked to Walcott... More

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Kelowna, Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

This was a really good experience even if your not up on fossils and that sort of thing because the guide I had filled in all the details and theories . If your in decent shape it can bit of a grind the last 15 min or so but once you get to the top its loaded with fossils to... More

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Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

You will have to book fairly early in the season if you want to do this hike, unless you want to bet on the cancelations. the guides from Canada Park are very well versed in explaining all about the fossils. even though this is not a very difficult hike, you will need to be in good shape especially for the... More

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Colwyn Bay, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
17 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

Invited to attend a trip organised by a Calgary-based oil company pre-2012. It is a place that every geologist should visit. Weather was extremely kind to us so the hike up & down was not arduous. It did produce snow flurries for a while at the quarry, but we didn't care! Spectacular views en route. Our guide was very informative... More

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Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
14 attraction reviews
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

We did not go to the Burgess shale to see the fossils, we did the triangle hike which is Burgess Pass, Yoho Pass, Emerald Lake. This is rather demanding 20km, 880m elevation gain (and loss) hike. A parks Canada officer suggested that we start with the most difficult part from Emerald Lake to Burgess Pass and go from there, which... More

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Red Deer, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

We had an excellent 7 hour hike up & down Burgess Shale on Mt Stephen. This remakable few million year old fossil bed is amazing. Well worth the slight leg pain the next day. K-Woman was an excellent guide. Very friendly, very informative, & made it work for the whole group. If you can do a 3.5 - 4 hour... More

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Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
12 attraction reviews
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

My husband and I signed up for the guided hike to Burgess Shale via the Geological Foundation. Our guide was terrific--clearly knowledge and very passionate about his area of expertise and provided us with much wonderful information on not only the fossils and the history of the site but also the area, the mountains, the flora and fauna. For example,... More

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