Jump to content
Al Tahan

Austin Texas suggestions? Visiting Jan 8-13th

Recommended Posts

Al Tahan

Hello fossil folks,

 

Me and my fiancée will be in Austin, Texas from January 8-13th next year visiting one of her best friends. During these few days I will have time for myself to go fossil crazy haha. I will probably have to ship whatever I find home and I’m ok with that as it opens up possibilities for me to collect more material :)

 

I've done some research and there seems to be almost too much information for me to make a real educated decision. I read about a lake you can collect at but you need a permit...the finds are great. I’d get a permit if I had to no grip there.

 

I have 1 day do hunting and I’ll want to try to maximize my efforts. Several years ago my paleontology professor showed me some jaw dropping ammonites from Texas he collected at rivers but I have no clue where. I’d love to get into some ammonites and maybe some Cretaceous material with possible mosasaur teeth/verts? 

 

I reached out to @KimTexan because I saw her comment on a post of mine in the past and she was very kind! Kim is from much further north but said we have some great forum members and admins from Texas!

 

So I guess I’m just trying to make sure I pick the right spot or spots for my 1 day of fossiling lol. Maybe I can meet up with some members who want to teach a Paleozoic :trilo:New Yorker what the Mesozoic is all about :ammonite01:. I would bring a nice fossil from New York as a gift! 

 

Thank you in advance for any advice I may get! :)

 

 

Al

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rayminazzi

How far you want to travel will have a big impact on where you can go, Texas is huge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Al Tahan
1 hour ago, Rayminazzi said:

How far you want to travel will have a big impact on where you can go, Texas is huge

Id go to go 2 hours in one direction...3 if it’s worth it. Ha. I’ll have the day so if I’m up and traveling early enough I can make it count. 6+ hours for travel alone would be tough but I wouldn’t put it past myself to do something crazy for a great opportunity. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rayminazzi

San Antonio's ammonites tend to be few and far between for the most part , I'm less than familiar with Austin though, we do have plenty of echinoids and gastropod steinkerns on the northern end of town though, if no one else offers you a better option and I'm free that day I'd be willing to show you around. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Al Tahan
5 hours ago, Rayminazzi said:

San Antonio's ammonites tend to be few and far between for the most part , I'm less than familiar with Austin though, we do have plenty of echinoids and gastropod steinkerns on the northern end of town though, if no one else offers you a better option and I'm free that day I'd be willing to show you around. 

I keep seeing northern Texas for the ammonites...dang! Well...I’m gonna keep researching and see if something is worth the drive. Fort Worth is super far from Austin. I’ll totally tag along if nobody minds. I’m gonna try to read more about central Texas? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Al Tahan

I’m also tempted to just man up and drive to oaklhoma for trilobites at theisons quarry lol. I feel at home in the land of trilobites haha

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rayminazzi
40 minutes ago, Al Tahan said:

I’m also tempted to just man up and drive to oaklhoma for trilobites at theisons quarry lol. I feel at home in the land of trilobites haha

 

 

If your talking about driving from Austin to Oklahoma you might as well go to the north sulphur river, lots of things to be had there

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Uncle Siphuncle

Whiskey Bridge (Hwy 21 on the Brazos) has ornate and well preserved little Eocene gastropods and occasional shark teeth.  Prob 2 hrs east of Austin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
erose

Oh, kay.... time for me to chime in.  Plenty of places to collect nice fossils in and around Austin. As far as jaw-dropping ammonites or mososaur material goes I would be hard pressed to guarantee a location.  There are some formations here where you could find those but they are not as abundant as some of the locations up around Dallas, Fort Worth or the North Sulfur River.  

 

What I could show you are some locations where the variety of Cretaceous marine life would make for a nice collection. You would go home with a wide variety of bivalves and gastropods, possibly a handful of sea urchin species, corals, worm tubes, and more. Crustaceans and shark teeth are possibilities as well as ammonites. These would be road cuts west of town in the Glen Rose or Walnut Formations.

 

Unfortunately some of the better spots for shark teeth, possible mososaur and larger ammonites are all in creeks that expose the Austin and Taylor Groups (Upper Cretaceouis).  Now it can and will most likely be much warmer than back home, it still may be too chill to comfortably wade around.

 

As far as driving outside of Austin Uncle Siphuncle has suggested Whiskey Bridge. Great variety and quality of fossils but no ammos or mososaurs.  You can go an hour north to the Harker Heights/Killeen area and maybe get a few decent ammos as well as nice sea urchins. An hour south and there are great good exposures of the Glen Rose for more invertebrates and nice sea urchins. 

 

If any of this interests you then drop me PM and I can maybe help direct you once you are here. I live very close to some good exposures of the Walnut Formation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Al Tahan

Thank you for the information!! @erose@Uncle Siphuncle 

I’m pretty open minded. I’ve just always loved and admired the the ammonites from Texas.....dang those first impressions...they stick around ha. 

 

 I don’t mind a drive if need be. I would be gracious to even find anything! Mosasaur is a stretch and I know it’s impossible to guarantee anything. I would go to 1 spot if it meant I could have a fun time, Get dirty and find an ammo or some other fun Texas fossil.

 

I know what I said in the first post and other posts above is pretty ambitious. I tend to get ahead of myself after seeing great things doing research. I sometimes need to remind myself to not try to hit home runs first try lol....but it would be fun :)

 

Now i I just have to try and decide what I want to do with this information!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OwlEyes

I will in Austin 12/24 - 12/31.  I will have 3 days for fossils hunt and I am willing to travel up to North Sulfur River.  I checked the weather and it shows 40% chance of showers most of the days I am there.  Since I have not been in Texas before, I would like to know how heavy is the rain and how long does it last?  Can I still go out fossil hunting?  Will it be dangerous to go to North Sulfur River?  Thanks.

 

If it is not a good idea to go to North Sulfur River, does anyone has any other suggestion?  I love to be able to find ammonite specially the large one, shark teeth, and masasaur bone.  I also hope to be able to find my first arrowhead.  Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Uncle Siphuncle

NSR is the best combo venue available for all items mentioned, hence its global acclaim, but most locals are happy to get one or two of those items per trip, as there are no guarantees even in the best of conditions.  

 

All that said, I avoid rain days as this place floods faster than any other stream I’ve seen even in modest rain.  

 

I have personally gotten out of the river during a sprinkle and slight rise, run to the next bridge upstream and seen 15 feet of rushing water with whole, cartwheeling, uprooted trees cascading downstream.  Quite humbling to imagine trying to scale the slippery, vertical shale walls as Noah’s flood sloshes around the bend.  Not unlike being caught flat footed while taking a stroll at the Bay of Fundy.  Go on a dry day, or you could “become one” with the alluvial fan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeffrey P

Hi,

If you plan to stay around the Austin area, I'm sure erose would be an excellent resource. He's a former New Yorker, but now long time resident of the Austin area and very active and informative member of the Forum. As far as my two bits: Also consider Pennsylvanian Age marine fossils. Sites around Brownwood, Mineral Wells, and especially Jacksboro are beyond belief in terms of abundance and preservation. I was in Texas and Oklahoma  back in September, visited 16 sites, and all of them were productive and impressive. Hope you and your fiancé  have a great time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UtahFossilHunter
55 minutes ago, Jeffrey P said:

Hi,

If you plan to stay around the Austin area, I'm sure erose would be an excellent resource. He's a former New Yorker, but now long time resident of the Austin area and very active and informative member of the Forum. As far as my two bits: Also consider Pennsylvanian Age marine fossils. Sites around Brownwood, Mineral Wells, and especially Jacksboro are beyond belief in terms of abundance and preservation. I was in Texas and Oklahoma  back in September, visited 16 sites, and all of them were productive and impressive. Hope you and your fiancé  have a great time. 

 The tagging system apparently didn’t work in your post so here’s a little help. @erose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KimTexan
On 12/19/2018 at 10:21 AM, OwlEyes said:

I will in Austin 12/24 - 12/31.  I will have 3 days for fossils hunt and I am willing to travel up to North Sulfur River.  I checked the weather and it shows 40% chance of showers most of the days I am there.  Since I have not been in Texas before, I would like to know how heavy is the rain and how long does it last?  Can I still go out fossil hunting?  Will it be dangerous to go to North Sulfur River?  Thanks.

 

If it is not a good idea to go to North Sulfur River, does anyone has any other suggestion?  I love to be able to find ammonite specially the large one, shark teeth, and masasaur bone.  I also hope to be able to find my first arrowhead.  Thanks.

I have hunted the NSR in the rain a couple times, but it was scattered, brief showers or the slow, light drizzle. No gully washer type rain. I wouldn’t go there if heavy or moderate rain is in the forecast.

I did it once on Labor Day and a brief shower of 30 minutes turned the river into one gigantic mud pit.

The NSR is somewhat unpredictable in the rain. I tend to look at rainfall in the whole area and I watch the NOAA river levels for their forecast. Any rain north and west will raise the river levels. East and South won’t.

 

I have never experienced anything in the NSR like Dan, @Uncle Siphuncle, but then again I watch the river forecast.

https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=FWD&gage=CPPT2

This is the forecast:

AF7707C1-FD10-45AF-A3F6-57670074F8A4.png.733bb82243cfa5731f111e914159871d.png

The meter is in Cooper, Texas. It’s down river quite a ways. So the water level is lower at the Ladonia Fossil Park on 34 than it is in Cooper in general.

I would say that a level of 3 feet is usually huntable from highway 34 bridge and up river. 

I went hunting last Saturday morning. We’d had a lot of rain. This was the forecast. Predicted levels at 3 feet.

2E9899C3-70D6-4BEC-AF18-BF64E1D39232.jpeg.e945f0a5158ab332b62373a2c446f9d9.jpeg

 

I had hip wanders. I crossed the river at its deepest here in the pic below and it was just a bit over 2 feet. Knee to mid thigh. The current wasn’t too bad, but if the bottom is slick shale it could knock you off your feet and take you for a cool little ride.

This was the river at 2990 at sunset. 2990 is the next bridge up river from 34.

E7BF3988-5CFE-4F99-B1FD-96B2668E14BE.thumb.jpeg.154e106093cd851b4dfd98c67a8e6605.jpeg

 

There was plenty gravel to hunt.

There was some deep mud. Too deep for me to be willing to risk it in some places. I carry a walking stick with me. Mostly to test the mud. At one point I needed to cross a creek. I tested the mud. It was soft and 2 feet deep then my stick hit solid bed. So I knew it was safe to cross, but not everyone is willing to walk through 2 feet deep mud. It was up to my knees.

I had a great day hunting. Hunted 9 hours straight.

If you go take a walking stick and have rubber boots at minimum. Hip waders are great when it’s 3 feet.

One drawback about that much water is it is cloudy and you can’t see in the water to look for fossils. 

I would enjoy hunting with you if you go, but unfortunately I am on call till 12/26 and can’t drive that far away from work. Then I’ll be with my kids who don’t enjoy hunting as much as I do.

If you go I recommend hunting the red zone, which is west of 2990 bridge. Getting in the river can be a physical challenge. There is an easy route into the river at that location. If you’re interested for the entry spot PM me. 

It isn’t the easiest place to hunt fossils in North Texas, but it is your best bet for mosasaur. It is a fairly remote wilderness area. I’ve hunted it many times and I hunted for 5 hrs plus and never saw or heard a soul. It can be a dangerous place with avalanches and wild hogs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OwlEyes

Thanks KimTexan.  I plan to hunt at Ladonia Fossil Park (the only place I can find an address) on 12/28 and weather forecast say it is sunny.  Do you think it is ok to bring an 8 years old boy?  Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OwlEyes

I am bored on Christmas so I decide to go to Texas 360 loop.  I am going South and stop at the first limestone expose I saw.  It is just ahead of Ranch 2222.  My goal is just to find something to confirm that, there are fossil there.  I found nothing, not even fragment or imprint.  I walk below and hike on top.

 

Do you think I am looking at the wrong location or I just don’t know what to looking for?

 

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KimTexan

What is the closet major cross section there? I don’t know where that is?

What is the formation there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OwlEyes

I don’t know much,  I found an topic in this forum suggest Texas 360 loop for ammonites and it is just 30 minutes from where I stay so I go to check it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KimTexan

Was it South of I-20, I-30 or 183? I don’t know those areas very well, but South of 183 down to just north of 20 would be by best guess. Even north of 30 would be better. But then again I don’t know the area near 360 very well. 

Most anything in the Washita group is your best bet. So aim for Duck Creek, Paw Paw or Grayson formations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OwlEyes

It is south of 183.  Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
erose

Loop 360 in Austin has many road cuts along its length. The ones near RM2222 are not good. Try the big one a little further south at RM2244(Bee Cave Rd). Go up onto the first bench.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OwlEyes

Hi Erose,

 

I went to Texas 360 & RM 2244 this morning.  I found many shells and a sea urchin (if I called it correctly).  I did not found any ammonite.  Do you know if I can find any ammonite there?

 

 

 

Thanks,

Han.

IMG_6433.jpg

IMG_6431.jpg

IMG_6425.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
erose
On December 26, 2018 at 12:55 PM, OwlEyes said:

Hi Erose,

 

I went to Texas 360 & RM 2244 this morning.  I found many shells and a sea urchin (if I called it correctly).  I did not found any ammonite.  Do you know if I can find any ammonite there?

 

Thanks,

Han.

 

 

 

Glad you got there. The echinoid (sea urchin) is a fairly decent specimen. Slightly crushed but complete from what I can tell. The species is Coenholectypus planatus.

 

There are ammonites there, but they are never any good. Mostly eroded pieces and rarely a complete one.  The Walnut Formation further north into Williamson and Bell Counties produces better specimens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×