Oak Springs Trilobite Area |

Caliente

Hiking Oak Springs Trilobite Area - CalienteRoadside Attraction Oak Springs Trilobite Area - Caliente Oak Springs Trilobite Area

Caliente

Overview

RATING: Roadside Attraction / Easy Hike

Tue

A 20 percent chance of snow before 10am.  Partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 40. Breezy, with a north northwest wind 22 to 28 mph.

40 | 31

Wed

Sunny, with a high near 46.

46 | 26

Thu

Sunny, with a high near 50. Breezy.

50 | 33

Fri

Mostly sunny, with a high near 51. Windy.

51 | 36

Sat

Snow likely.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42. Windy.

42 | 34

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Spring, Summer, Fall (Winter if there is not snow on the ground)
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: None

Tue

A 20 percent chance of snow before 10am.  Partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 40. Breezy, with a north northwest wind 22 to 28 mph.

40 | 31

Wed

Sunny, with a high near 46.

46 | 26

Thu

Sunny, with a high near 50. Breezy.

50 | 33

Fri

Mostly sunny, with a high near 51. Windy.

51 | 36

Sat

Snow likely.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42. Windy.

42 | 34

View Full Weather Details
View from the fossil hunting area.

View from the fossil hunting area.

Just north of US-93, west of the small town of Caliente, is the Oak Springs Trilobite site. The geology of the area, which comprises shale deposits, has fossilized plants and six types of trilobites in the deposited rock layers.

The BLM has created a trailhead and trail to an area where, with a fair bit of persistence, you can find fossilized plants and trilobites. The trailhead has picnic tables and a pit toilet.

This short outing makes a great stop when passing through the area, and was a fun “treasure-hunt” for the whole family, Our kindergartener loved hunting for fossils.

Note: In our experience, finding fossilized plants is easy, as we found widespread fossils of plants around the site. These, to my eye, were the highlight and fossils I most enjoyed. Finding trilobites takes a bit more persistence and a closer eye. We found a few examples on our trip that took about an hour of hunting.
A few of our finds.

A few of our finds.

Getting There

From the town of Caliente Nevada, head west on US-93 for about 13 miles to mile marker 81.25. A side road on the north side of US-93 here is signed for Oak Springs Trilobite area. Follow the dirt road 0.4 miles to a large parking area with a pit toilet. This is the trailhead and is signed. Reaching the trailhead should be possible by all vehicles in most conditions.

Heading on a fossil hunt!

Heading on a fossil hunt!

Route

From the trailhead, the trail heads west for about 1/4 of a mile to where the area becomes disturbed with digging pits from other visitors. The hunt begins! In talking to a group of locals that were visiting at the same time we were, the best strategy appears to be wash bottoms for trilobites, though we found fossilized plants in many places we dug.


Maps

Route / 0.56 miles / Elevation Range 5,718 - 5,774 ft.
Printable Maps:
MP81.25

11S 702372mE 4164905mN

N37° 36' 32" W114° 42' 26"

Trailhead

11S 701961mE 4165456mN

N37° 36' 51" W114° 42' 42"

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