Fossil Hunting Near Gold Beach

Gold Beach is approximately three hours from the Rogue Valley and is an excellent choice for a day trip. This area is rich with easy to find marine fossils . . . if you know where to look!

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My children love to dig through the silty soft sedimentary rock faces you can find among the road cuts along Bear Camp Rd. Although I am not an experienced geologist, the sedimentary rock faces are easy to distinguish.

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With a simple rock pick, you can pull egg-like nodules from these sites. They were ranging from the size of robin’s eggs to a small fist size and they are much harder than the surrounding fossilized sea bed.

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Once you loosen them them, you simply pluck them out. Use a rock hammer to pop them open. The organic material is encased in the harder sediment. We found crabs and a lobster and a lot of indistinguishable vegetation matter. After drying the open nodules, you can apply a polyurethane coating to preserve the exposed fossil.

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Our fossils are currently drying . . . more pictures to come. Check out this great family activity. It’s as simple and affordable as driving to a sedimentary rock face or road cut. They are prevalent in the Northwest!

Mary Jane Feetham

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