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DaveCO

Best beginner spot in New Mexico

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DaveCO

Hi everyone, I have some time on my hands so I am going to take a fossil hunting trip to New Mexico in February. I am a beginner, but I am starting to learn about the hobby. I am interested in any type of fossil, and I can make my way anywhere in the state. I am able to hike, but my vehicle won’t handle really worn dirt roads. Any recommendations of where I should focus my further planning? Thanks in advance!! Dave

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caldigger

Dave, have you explored the topic " Fossil Sites" on the Forum? Scroll down by states until you get to New Mexico. Might be some insightful information on areas you may be headed into.

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readinghiker

Dave,  there are tons of sites.  But be aware that collecting vertebrate fossils that are not on private lands is illegal, and you can end up with a hefty fine.

That said, when you come here, check out the natural history museums in Albuquerque and Tucumcari.  Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu is also a good stop for 

a museum.  If you do go fossil hunting (like around the Rio Puerco or in the Bisti Badlands) and find something, contact one of the museums to let them

know what you have found.  If it is run of the mill stuff, you might be able to keep it, but you do need to find out if it is significant or not.  I am an associate researcher

for a museum here in New Mexico, and people bring stuff in all of the time.  I have found literally  thousands of shark teeth here.  A young kid convinced his dad that

he had found a piece of a dinosaur egg out in the desert, and his dad had him bring the fragments to the museum in Albuquerque.  Sure enough, he had found the 

first recorded example of a dinosaur egg in the state!  Lots of stuff out there.

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DaveCO
16 hours ago, caldigger said:

Dave, have you explored the topic " Fossil Sites" on the Forum? Scroll down by states until you get to New Mexico. Might be some insightful information on areas you may be headed into.

Thanks, I just looked at that part of the forum. Very helpful!

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DaveCO
2 hours ago, readinghiker said:

Dave,  there are tons of sites.  But be aware that collecting vertebrate fossils that are not on private lands is illegal, and you can end up with a hefty fine.

That said, when you come here, check out the natural history museums in Albuquerque and Tucumcari.  Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu is also a good stop for 

a museum.  If you do go fossil hunting (like around the Rio Puerco or in the Bisti Badlands) and find something, contact one of the museums to let them

know what you have found.  If it is run of the mill stuff, you might be able to keep it, but you do need to find out if it is significant or not.  I am an associate researcher

for a museum here in New Mexico, and people bring stuff in all of the time.  I have found literally  thousands of shark teeth here.  A young kid convinced his dad that

he had found a piece of a dinosaur egg out in the desert, and his dad had him bring the fragments to the museum in Albuquerque.  Sure enough, he had found the 

first recorded example of a dinosaur egg in the state!  Lots of stuff out there.

I will definitely keep that in mind. At this stage I’ll be happy if I find anything!

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ynot

The limestone cap of the sandia mountains contains mississippian fossils, but may be under snow this time of year.

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