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Shark255

This summer, I am going on a trip to Colorado Springs. I am well aware that the state is filled with fossil sites but it seems like a lot of them prohibit collecting. I am wondering if anyone knows any sites in the area that allow public collecting. Preferably a site with lots of vertebrate material like Sharks or Dinosaurs. 

Thank You!

(PS: I am still looking for some more information on fossils in St Georges Delaware. If you have any, please post it in my previous post.)

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FossilDAWG

There are places not too far from Colorado Springs where you can collect invertebrates (such as Baculites) or leaf and insect fossils (a pay-to-dig quarry near Florrisant).  I don't know of any publicly accessible Colorado sites with lots of shark teeth; they can be found but it takes a lot of looking so you would be fortunate to score more than 1 or 2 in a long day of hunting.  Collecting vertebrate fossils (including shark teeth) is also illegal on state or federal land without a permit, which you will only get at the end of a long application process detailing your grant-funded research project and the museum that will be the permanent repository of everything you find.  Your basement/bedroom will not qualify as a permanent repository.  Did I mention you also need a PhD and a faculty position at a university to even be able to submit an application for a permit?  Also you should be aware that roadcuts on state or federal highways are state property and are off limits for collecting (any collecting, vertebrate or invertebrate or plant).  That being said, you can find roadcuts on farm or backcountry roads that are not so restricted, or anyway the highway patrol is unlikely to come by.

 

One fun place for Cretaceous invertebrates, mostly tons of Baculites but also scarcer scaphitid ammonites, bivalves, and very scarce snails and crabs, is a site near Pueblo called Baculite Mesa.  It is on private property but some google searching will reveal a phone number you can call for permission.  Don't go without arranging permission ahead of time; the owner has large targets set up along the road and likes to sit on top of the mesa and target shoot.  You really don't want to drive through an active shooting range.

 

Don

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Raggedy Man

FossilDawg is correct. I frequent Colorado several times a year. Unless you're hunting private land, vert collecting is illegal. Colorado does not mess around on this topic. They will seize anything you find and quite possibly your car. The ticket is the least of your worries and you'll be looking at jail time as well. 

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Shark255
16 hours ago, Raggedy Man said:

FossilDawg is correct. I frequent Colorado several times a year. Unless you're hunting private land, vert collecting is illegal. Colorado does not mess around on this topic. They will seize anything you find and quite possibly your car. The ticket is the least of your worries and you'll be looking at jail time as well. 

Thanks for the info guys. Do you know anyone near Colorado Springs with private land and allows fossil collecting?

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Raggedy Man

Other than Baculite Mesa, no. While on our honeymoon, my wife and I visited several places in the area and found that most have special arrangements with the University. A few others do allow collecting, but they had an arrangement with a local collector(which is common place). 

 

Are you limited to the Colorado Springs area or are you able to venture further away? There area a few sites by Creede, Colorado, but not worth it unless you spend a few days in the area as the locations are only accessible by ATV or a 2+mile hike.

 

The Last Chance Mine in Creede offers sowbelly agate, but it is pay to play. There is also a greenrivier formation by Colorado Springs, but they are also pay to play and charge an hourly rate. Many of the sites in the Springs area have been developed on over the years and are no longer accessible. Fossil hunting in Colorado is challenging, but not completely impossible. There are BLM lands you can collect pet wood on, but are limited in how much you can collect in a day.

 

 

Good luck in your endeavors while in Colorado. I'd suggest next you go do not limit your self to the Colorado Springs area. 

 

Best regards,

Paul

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Shark255
3 hours ago, Raggedy Man said:

Other than Baculite Mesa, no. While on our honeymoon, my wife and I visited several places in the area and found that most have special arrangements with the University. A few others do allow collecting, but they had an arrangement with a local collector(which is common place). 

 

Are you limited to the Colorado Springs area or are you able to venture further away? There area a few sites by Creede, Colorado, but not worth it unless you spend a few days in the area as the locations are only accessible by ATV or a 2+mile hike.

 

The Last Chance Mine in Creede offers sowbelly agate, but it is pay to play. There is also a greenrivier formation by Colorado Springs, but they are also pay to play and charge an hourly rate. Many of the sites in the Springs area have been developed on over the years and are no longer accessible. Fossil hunting in Colorado is challenging, but not completely impossible. There are BLM lands you can collect pet wood on, but are limited in how much you can collect in a day.

 

 

Good luck in your endeavors while in Colorado. I'd suggest next you go do not limit your self to the Colorado Springs area. 

 

Best regards,

Paul

Thanks! I think I want to stay within a 2 hour radius of the Springs. I hear there are a few private areas where you can ask for permission to collect dinosaur fragments. Do you know about any of these?

Edited by Shark255

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