National Park Service: Fossil Discovery Walk
This Summer, join a ranger for a 60 minute fossil discovery walk on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. This is a fun, family-friendly activity.
The program is a favorite of Junior rangers who are able to explore a fossil bed and discover brachiopods, sponges, and other marine creatures preserved here in limestone for millions of years.
Meet the ranger at 9 am by the Bright Angel Trailhead sign (near Kolb Studio and Bright Angel Lodge). From the trailhead, it’s a short (0.25 mile) guided walk along the Canyon Rim Trail to the fossil site.
The program is free of charge. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The Fossil Discovery Walk is subject to cancellation due to inclement weather or when lightning danger is present.
Just up the hill from the Hermit Road interchange shuttle bus stops, and adjacent to the Bright Angel Lodge cabins, a large, 200-foot (60 m) wide by 100-foot (30 m) deep courtyard surrounds the Bright Angel Trailhead along the canyon rim. Where the trail starts down into the canyon is a large sandstone slab with the words, “Bright Angel Trailhead” inscribed into the stone. There are large boulders on either side of the stone slab. Two sets of accessible bathrooms at the back of the courtyard face north toward a wide-open concrete plaza, with a water bottle filling station at the right. Limestone boulders ring a couple garden areas in the center of the plaza, each with a stone bench under tall shade awnings. 30 feet (9 m) west down a slight incline from the water station, an oval-shaped mule corral is delineated by 18 stone pylons, each 3 feet (1m) square by four feet (1.2 m) tall with metal pipe suspended between them. These ring a low stone wall surrounding a 100-foot (30 m) diameter oval-shaped corral. The water bottle filling station is located just to the west of the public restroom building in the Bright Angel Trail courtyard area. Mounted on a 6 foot (2 m) wide by 4 foot (1.2 m) deep limestone brick base, 3 metal spigots stick out from the center of a 4 foot (1.2 m) square panel, housed in a metal frame topped with a short, sloped metal roof. Across a full-panel color photograph of the canyon, text at the top of the panel reads: “Grand Canyon Spring Water. Fill Your Bottles Here for Free.
Free with Park Fee
- Audience: Adult, Teen, Youth
- Genre: Field Sciences
- Type: Field Trip/Outdoor Activity, Tour/Walk