North Dakota Geological Survey


2020 Fossil Digs


Our normal dig season runs from late June through the middle of August, and may include all or some of the sites listed at the bottom of this page. Each of our digs has a minimum age of 15 years, with the exception of Family Days, where the age drops to 10 years. Family Days are set up as half-days, with a morning and afternoon shift. If your child is 10-14 years old, you may only sign up for one half day (morning OR afternoon), not both on the same day. This age minimum is a change from previous years in order to ensure the safety of our diggers and fossils, and to provide an appropriate scientific atmosphere. Young diggers will be grandfathered in to their previous experience levels. For example, a child that was 13 last year and attended a Full Day, may still attend a Full Day at 14 years of age this year. A child that is 14 and has NOT attended a Full Day of digging, may only attend the Family Day. We are sorry for any disappointment this may cause.

Every dig is set up so that participants may sign up for one or more days. It is not necessary to sign up for the whole dig week. If you are a first-time digger, you will be limited to two days per dig. Not every dig includes weekend days.

You will not be digging for dinosaurs on every dig! North Dakota is known for a plethora of fossil plants and animals. See the FAQs below to see what you may find on each of our digs.

Each dig has a different set of physical requirements. Digs listed as “Beginner” have minimal walking or hiking. Digs listed as “Intermediate” include walking a short-to-moderate distance over rougher terrain. Digs listed as “Experienced” require more hiking, walking, and climbing over rough surfaces. To see what amenities are offered on each dig (such as shade tent or port-a-potty), check out the FAQs listed below.

Watch this website or social media for upcoming information. We are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NDGSPaleo .

To be added to the 2020 fossil dig notification list please click here. For questions about the fossil digs, please e-mail

2020 Dig Information (coming soon!)





More Reading and Photos from Past Digs

Pembina Past Digs

Dickinson Area Past Digs

Marmarth Past Digs

Whiskey Creek Past Digs

Medora Past Digs

Bismarck Area Past Digs