Shovel Ready

For those of you with limited time, join the Wyoming Dinosaur Center for a Shovel Ready program. This half-day dig is the perfect choice for a morning or afternoon trip into the prehistoric past!

Wyoming Dinosaur Center staff and visitors have removed more than 14,000 bones from the excavation sites – all within a 10-minute drive of the Museum. Most fossils are from long-necked sauropods (Camarasaurus, Diplodocus, Apatosaurus), but we have also found an abundance of Allosaurus teeth at all of our active quarries.

Shovel Ready programs operate from 9:00 am to noon and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Arrive 15 minutes early to fill out the necessary paperwork and meet your guides. After a safety talk, you’ll be transported to the dig sites. Along the way, your guides will provide a brief history of the museum, the dig sites, and prehistoric Wyoming. Upon arrival at the site, you will get a tour and then training to get acquainted with the digging tools and learn proper digging techniques to dig dinosaur bones.

The Shovel Ready Program allows ages 3 and up to participate, regardless of experience; however, a parent or legal guardian must accompany anyone under age 18. The program is limited to first come-first serve, with a maximum of 10 people per session. The program cost is $80.00 per person, and this includes museum admission.

You should be in good physical health as the hill can be strenuous. Our climate is dry; the dig sites are about 4,500 feet above sea level, and it is easy to feel the effects of the sun at that altitude. Not to worry though – you are not alone. Our staff will be on hand to answer questions and to help at all times. Water and tools are provided, and everyone is encouraged to dress for the weather (e.g., sunscreen, sun hats, refillable water bottles, etc.) Closed-toe shoes (tennis shoes or hiking boots) are mandatory. 

You may dig with us 5 days a week from June 3 through September 13 (weather permitting). Our climate averages about 321 clear days a year. When we do not feel conditions on the hill are safe, we will cancel the dig. Your registration fees will be refunded in full, or we will work with you to reschedule your dig if possible.

Can’t find the information you need? Please call us directly at (800) 455-3466.

View the Wyoming Dinosaur Center cancellation policy.

What to Expect

  • A safety talk and brief introduction begins at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center at 9 am or 1 pm on the day of the dig. You will meet your guide(s), who will make sure you have everything you need before leaving the museum. IF you do not have proper footwear (tennis shoes or hiking boots) you will not be allowed to participate and you will not receive a refund.  We will introduce you to local geology and paleontology as well as digging techniques and data collection procedures.
  • Transportation to the site leaves about 9:15 am or 1:15 pm.  No personal vehicles are allowed.
  • You are welcome to bring food and drinks.
  • If you find a dinosaur fossil,  you will learn techniques to preserve it and documentation will follow.  Your name, fossil number, date and time will be written on a collection form then added to the site log. This information will remain with our collection forever.
  • Excavation ends at 11:45 am or 3:45 pm, then we travel back to the museum.
  • If you arrive the evening before your dig, stop by the museum. We’ll be glad to visit with you about the dig, and you can tour the museum and see technicians at work on bones in the preparation lab

Book Event

Morning Session (9AM - 12PM)
Available Tickets: 2
The Morning Session (9AM - 12PM) ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Afternoon Session (1PM - 4PM)
Available Tickets: 2
The Afternoon Session (1PM - 4PM) ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.