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Fossil Dig Sites Open to the Public

Be a Citizen Scientist for a Day at these fossil dig sites that are open to the public in the U.S. You can help researchers collect, analyze and use information to better our understanding of the world. And the best part? You don't need any extra experience to do it!

Fossil digs in 2023

For those who want to be in the trenches working right alongside the scientists themselves, join a dinosaur or paleontology dig for a day (or more) this year. All these digs are true scientific endeavors, and paleontology is one of the ONLY fields, where you can be an actual part of the hands-on discovery. And with fossils, there’s always the enticing possibility of discovering a new species.

The following sites are open every day in the summer months and also open to kids too!

The kings of the Cretaceous roamed ancient Montana 66 million years ago and their fossils abound in the Two Medicine Format

ion where The Montana Dinosaur Center sits. A truly one-of-a-kind dig experience, it’s one of the only locations where you can join a REAL dinosaur dig. Bring the kids along and don your Jurassic Park gear. You can join the team at The Montana Dinosaur Center to excavate from a HUGE dinosaur bone bed. Maisaura, Daspletosaurus, Einiosaurus, Scolosaurus and Bambiraptor have already been discovered and there’s more where that came from.

  • Located between Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park

  • The Montana Dinosaur Center is open daily from June-August​

  • Space is limited to 10 participants per session

  • All ages welcome.


Trilobites, and other marine creatures from deep time Pay for a day pass and spend as much time as you like hunting through fossils from this ancient sea. For an extra special experience, join their 2-hour Private Expedition where you’ll be escorted by a guide who will lead your search for exotic fossils, including armored fish and the golden trilobite.

  • Penn Dixie is only 45 minutes from Niagara Falls, making this an easy destination for those traveling in upstate New York.

  • Penn Dixie is open from Late April - mid-June | Weekends Late June - Labor Day | Mon-Sat

  • Labor Day - mid-October | Weekends

  • All ages are welcome.

  • No reservations needed for day entry,

Book in advance for Private Expeditions.


There’s a treasure trove of plant, insect and fish fossils in the small town of Republic, Washington. Fifty million years ago, this area was a warm upland climate that was home to alders, redwoods, roses, and insects including narchflies and rare fish. At Stonerose everyone finds something to keep.

  • Stonerose is about 5.5 hours from Seattle and 2.5 hours from Spokane

  • Stonerose is open May, Sept & Oct | Wed-Sun Memorial Day-Labor Day | open daily

  • All ages are welcome

  • No reservations needed


Find more Citizen Science projects

Have fun while contributing to science and find lots more ideas for citizen science projects here:

Now that you're here, the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear. UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
from "The Lorax" Dr. Seuss

If you’re up for even more days of involvement, check out other paleontology digs featured on Ancient Odysseys that you are welcome to join.

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