Walcott Quarry (Burgess Shale)

Burgess Shale hikers Walcott Quarry

Elevation Gain

825 m (2,710 ft)

22 km (14 mi) round trip



HARD (due to length)



bookings of 6 or more hikers receive 10% off

Hikes are Cancelled for 2020

Click HERE to see the 2020 season schedule

Regular Pricing

All prices are tax-inclusive and are in Canadian dollars.

$126/person       -  Ages 8 - 75. A 10% discount is applied to bookings of 6 hikers or more.

$84/person         -  For educational or not-for-profit groups on a private trip.

Private group pricing is determined by the greater cost of the following two options:  The price per person including a 10% discount or $650/group.  Group size is 1 - 12 people.  Private tours are available any day of the week during our hiking season with some restrictions.  Please contact us via email or phone to book.


12 hikers is the maximum group size but two tours per day can be conducted to the Walcott Quarry so we can guide up to 24 hikers per day.

Is this the right hike for you?

Hikers must be between the ages of 8 and 75.  Youth from 8-16 must be accompanied by an adult.

A parent or guardian of participants 17-18 years of age must sign a waiver in advance if a Parent/Guardian will not be present the morning of the hike.

You should not undertake this hike if you have any respiratory, circulatory or joint problems.  If unsure, check with your physician. 

The trail is not always well-maintained by Parks Canada.  Portions of the trail may be snow-covered until mid-July. The trail is steep and uneven in some sections and becomes slippery in wet weather. Hikers may find the descent is hard on the knees or that uneven surfaces are a test of ankle stability. In the event of injury helicopter rescue is available if the weather is good.  If the weather is poor there may be no easy way out and one must be prepared to hike out with minimal assistance.

The hike begins at 1,510 meters (5,000 ft) above sea level.  At this elevation there is considerably less oxygen than at sea level, and the fatigue of climbing and descending will be be noticeable if you are used to training at lower elevations.  Although our guides pause for breaks along the way, you will not enjoy the trip unless you are fit and acclimatised to the altitude.

Please refer to the following link to see a plan view topographic map and the elevation profile of the hike. You will be directed to a third party website called AllTrails. We are not affiliated with this organization and we do not control the content on their site. However, we do periodically check to make sure that the topo map and elevation profile are correct. https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/canada/british-columbia/burgess-shale-walcott-quarry?ref=sidebar-view-full-map

Site Information

First discovered in 1909 by Charles Doolittle Walcott, recent interpretation of these exquisitely preserved 508 million year old fossils has influenced the scientific view of the evolution of life on Earth.  Visit this UNESCO World Heritage site and learn about our three themes:  History of Life, Mountain Building and Glaciation, and  Climate change in the Canadian Rockies.


The publication of Stephen Jay Gould's Wonderful Life in 1989 raised public awareness about the exquisitely preserved fossils of the Burgess Shale.  Jean-Bernard Caron's February 2014 announcement about the discovery of the Marble Canyon site in Kootenay NP has further increased interest in visiting the Walcott Quarry.  Due to the high demand, the dates for this hike fill quickly.  Please also consider visiting the Mt Stephen Fossil Beds, where Burgess Shale-type biota were first recognized in 1886.

How to Book

BOOK ONLINE - Please use our secure booking service here.


BOOK BY PHONE - Call us at 1-800 343 3006 to book your tour with our customer service team.


If your preferred date is not available please phone us at 1 800 343 3006 to discuss booking a private tour.  Private tours are available any day of the week.

Logistics the morning of the hike

The hike typically begins at 7:45 am MDT but sometimes the hike will start later so check your invoice to make sure that you know what time your hike begins.


The Yoho Trading Post is the meeting place in the morning but after gathering there we will all drive our own vehicles in a car convoy along the Yoho Valley Road to the trail-head at Takakkaw Falls. Please note that the Yoho Valley Road is unsuitable for larger motor homes.

If you are planning on driving to Field the morning of the hike, please pay attention to the road conditions in the area because there may be infrastructure projects that will cause long delays on the highway.  For local road conditions please check here.

Contact us




Ph: 250-343-6006  
Toll-free: 1-800-343-3006


The Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation 
201 Kicking Horse Ave

P.O. Box 148 
Field, British Columbia V0A 1G0 

  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey LinkedIn Icon
  • Grey Flickr Icon

© 2016 by The Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation

Office hours

(NOT our guided tour hours)

For the tour schedule click here

Mountain Time Zone








Oct - Mar 








Apr - May




9am-4pm 9am-4pm