Fossil hunting

Fossil hunting near Our Heritage Ranch

Experience the thrill of discovery at Our Heritage Guest Ranch. Your guide will help you explore the White River Badlands of northwest Nebraska in search of 30-million-year-old fossils. And the best part is that you get to keep what you find. This is an experience that will satisfy both the amateur paleontologist and those seeking a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Our area provides a variety of opportunities to fossil or rock hunt. We are in the Eocene and Oligocene era in the Brule formation. Rock beds 10 miles to our north are reminders we were once at the edge of a glacier or glacial waters.

Contact us for more information about what has been found on our ranch and surrounding area.

Fossil unearthed near Our Heritage RanchThe Badlands are known for their abundance of fossil mammals. Preserved in the ash of ancient volcanoes are the fossil remains of brontotheres, rhinoceroses, horses, oreodonts, camels, entelodont (pigs), rabbits, rodents and carnivores such as saber-tooth cats and hyaenodon. Non-mammal species include turtles and snails.

You will spend your days out in the field getting your hands dirty as you search these Badlands for the teeth, bones, jaws, skulls and even skeletons of 30-million-year-old creatures.

There are nightly slide shows, exhibits and identifications of your treasures. How-to classes in the field and at night show how to stabilize, dig and excavate the fossils you find. These classes include information on plaster jacketing as well as final preparation of your fossils. A shared Common Room is available in the evenings for movies, games or fun conversations with your fellow fossil hunters about your day’s adventures.

We supply each individual with their digging supplies for the five-day dig when Polly is our guide. She supplies you with:

  • Digging for fossils near Our Heritage RanchPick belt.
  • Hand pick.
  • Shiv and scabbard.
  • Walkie talkie.
  • Pick hoe.
  • Collection belt bag.
  • Heavy duty foil.
  • Stabilizing materials.
  • Plaster.
  • Burlap.

The items you should bring yourself are detailed in the contract section. Please contact us no later than March 1 to schedule your dig.