Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada photo.

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada photo.

Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

World travel is almost impossible in 2020, but time travel is still allowed.

Close to the Alberta border in the BC Rocky Mountains lies the Burgess Shale, a spot where scientists and tourists regularly travel 500 million years back in time.

Life was a little different then: all the earth’s animals lived in the ocean, and most of them were smaller than your hand. But life was exploding, with new complex organisms developing at a rapid rate. And the Burgess Shale is a near-perfect snapshot of that time.

The trails to reach the fossils are steep, and often unstable. Hiking poles are required on the Mount Stephen hike, and recommended on all trails. Zoya Lynch/Parks Canada photo.

The trails to reach the fossils are steep, and often unstable. Hiking poles are required on the Mount Stephen hike, and recommended on all trails. Zoya Lynch/Parks Canada photo.

The fossils are surrounded by spectacular scenery high in the Rockies, and hiking the steep trails is no easy feat. Luckily, the Virtual Museum is just a click away. Learn about this incredible site where some of the world’s oldest and most complex fossils are preserved, and scientists continue to make new discoveries. Not only do the Burgess Shale fossils represent a unique moment in history, they’re also very well preserved. You’ll see both hard body parts and soft tissues, and get a better sense of life in the Cambrian period.

Did we mention the Burgess Shale is a UNESCO World Heritage site? It’s no wonder that both David Suzuki and Sir David Attenborough have made special visits!

To read the rest of the story, click here.

***

Please note that current Provincial Health Protocols currently advise against travelling outside your region to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Plan your future adventures throughout the West Coast at westcoasttraveller.com and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @thewestcoasttraveller. And for the top West Coast Travel stories of the week delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our weekly Armchair Traveller newsletter!

British ColumbiaHikingnorthernbc

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: It’s the highway’s fault!

One component of Vision Zero (our current road safety strategy) is highway design.

Moira Mercer spent her summer riding her e-bike around Cowichan Lake and beyond, collecting any empties she found along the way. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan 2020 in review — conclusion

What were your top stories from 2020?

Staff meetings can be difficult when everyone has his own agenda. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Garden additions at request of staff

I’ll sow the catnip in flats on the seed table inside

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: Snowballs fights and dead spiders

Even if it doesn’t end up how we hope, it’s the trying that matters most.

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Most Read