For our 15th anniversary, we headed out to the Delta desert. Why? Well, I've been wanting to dig for trilobites. Somehow, I easily convinced my husband that we should go during one of the hottest summers in Utah. The last time we came to hunt for trilobites he was the very last one off of the mountain, so it was that hard to convince him. This time, we didn't have our four kids and I was SURE it was going to be magical.
We stayed the night in Delta and woke up early to head out to U-dig Quarry. Since it was the middle of August and super hot, we tried to get there right as it opened. The drive out to U-dig quarry from Delta is long, but we love it. There are wild horses and the dirt road out there has some of the best hills to drive on. It's so fun to drive fast and fly over those hills.
Once you reach the quarry, you can park and then get REALLY excited to find your treasures. Take some water, decent shoes, sunscreen, and a hat.
You can pay for a 2-hour session, which we suggest. Unless you are a die-hard fan, I'm not sure why you'd need to go longer. We found plenty in our short 2 hours there. You get to take everything you find!
You'll be given a short schpeel on how to dig and what to look for and then you are released into the wild. Be sure and ask at the desk where the hotspots are. U-dig employees are super nice and very helpful! Be sure to tip them on your way out too!
Let the digging begin! Oh, and to let you know, yes, I totally purchased some silver trilobite earrings at the rock shop in downtown Delta. I also made the husband buy a trilobite hat because we are super nerdy like that.
You'll be given a bucket and a pick. Then you can sit down wherever and start to dig.
There's nothing like taking a huge chunk out of the earth and then finding a trilobite inside...we think it's SUPER exciting. While you'll find lots of trilobites, some will be better than others.
This time around we were looking for bigger and better trilobites!
The husband found what little shade he could and brought all his rocks to his shade spot.
The husband seemed to find all the gems. He found all of the big ones.
There's nothing quite so satisfying as splitting that shale only to find a perfectly preserved trilobite. It's also equally frustrating when the trilobite chips and only half of it comes out, or you break it in some way. In the end, it's still just magical that you can find trilobites at all.
We stayed for about an hour and a half and decided we had some good treasures to take home. Plus it was getting extra hot.
This was probably our best trilobite above. We met an elderly gentleman who's been digging for YEARS at U-dig and he said "That's a really nice trilobite." So we knew we found something really good! By we, I mean my husband found it.
We found a few other good trilobites.This is probably just a fraction of what we found, but like I said, we were a bit pickier on this trip.
A few good things to know about Trilobite digging.
- It's fun, but only if you like repitive actions that end with a trilobite as a reward!
- It's kid friendly. We've taken our four kids ages 1-7 and they LOVED it. Even our baby. If you have a toddler, ask for a tiny hammer.
- Small, purposeful, hits with the hammer usually yields better finds. Don't just whack it, because it will break them. Split the shale carefully.
- Take sun protection.
- Where decent shoes.
- Take Water
- Bring a bucket, box or something sturdy to place your trilobites in for the drive home.
- You'll most likely find lots of trilobites, you get to keep what you find!
Thanks to U-dig for having UTAWESOME visit!