Welcome To Paleo Prospectors!


How It Works


Hunt with the Experts

You get to spend a week hunting for dinosaur bones with guides out in the field!


Keep what you find

You will be able to keep almost everything that you find. In most cases each participant finds several hundred bone fragments, ten or so mostly complete bones and an occasional tooth and claw.


Start something awesome

There aren't many cooler things you can say than "Hey, want to look at my fossil collection? It's a hobby." At least, that's what we would like to think.


Choose a week (or two) to come collect your own fossils!

  • #1
    9/20 slots filled

    Chadron, Nebraska

    June 11 (Sunday) to June 17 (Saturday)

    During this week we will be collecting on two different ranches. Both ranches contain an Oligocene component while one has a mid to late Cretaceous Marine deposit. This last ranch has produced over 20 small to large mosasaurs.

  • #2
    8/20 slots filled


    June 18 (Sunday) to 24 (Saturday)

    During the second week, we will be collecting on a ranch we have been to several times before. It is well known for Triceratops material, T Rex material, plant fossils and petrified wood.

  • #3
    13/20 slots filled


    June 25 (Sunday) to July 1 (Saturday)

    During this week we will be collecting on a large 33,000 acre ranch. This ranch with fossils from the Lance Creek formation was collected for the first time last year, and not all of the ranch was covered. Most participants had a very positive experience, however, there is a lot of walking involved. This will remain the case until we have a better understanding of where the fossils are located.

  • #4
    16/20 slots filled


    July 2 (Sunday) to July 8 (Saturday)

    During week 4 we will continue collecting on the same ranch as last week. The ranch will be divided into two sections; one section will be collected during session 3 and the other during session 4. In addition, there will be a small group of student excavators working at various sites discovered on the ranch last year.

  • #5
    13/20 slots filled

    Buffalo, South Dakota

    July 9 (Sunday) to July 15 (Saturday)

    During session 5 we will be based in Buffalo South Dakota. We will be collecting on three separate Hell Creek ranches all located within 20 miles of the city of Buffalo. The students will still be with us during this time.

  • #6
    12/20 slots filled

    Buffalo, South Dakota

    July 16 (Sunday) to July 22 (Saturday)

    During Session 6, we will still be based in Buffalo, but will be collecting in North Dakota. In addition to the usual Hell Creek ranch that we collect, this year we will be adding another smaller ranch with about 2000 acres of exposure. This area was covered very briefly last year, to determine if it was a viable collecting area. The net results were positive and so it has been added to the list of our collecting ranches. The new acreage adjoins the ranch from last week.

  • #7
    14/20 slots filled

    Glasgow, Montana

    July 23 (Sunday) to July 29 (Saturday)

    During our last session, we will be on a Judith River formation ranch, North West of Glasgow. Last year was another excellent week of collecting on this physically demanding ranch. For those able to tough it out it always provides excellent fossils. New areas uncollected in past years were investigated this year with very positive results. In addition we are beginning, finally, to understand the nature of the fossil bearing layers in the Valley.

  • WE KNOW,

Our Amazing Team

Meet the people who make PaleoProspectors possible!


Steve Nicklas

PaleoProspectors Founder


Rob Sula

Lead Guide


Caitlin Flake



Michael Payne



Zack Heck


What our participants are saying:

"It is so cool that we get to explore and find our own fossils! The fact that I am the first person to ever lay eyes on the fossil is awesome!" - Caitlin Flake

"An unforgettable experience... I can't wait to go back next year!" - Paul Weiler

"I love how we are able to preserve the past. The anticipationn of what we might find keeps us on our toes all the time. Last but not least the bathrooms are phenomenal (thats because you are outside with a 360 degree view of the mountains, plains, and horny toads!)" - Megan Graham

"Taking trips with PaleoProspectors was a life changer. I look back at these excursions as some of the happiest times of my life." - Robert Peterson

"Once a pile of stuff I found turned out the be a 30 foot Tylosaur. The look on Steves face was priceless!" - Thomas Williams

The following list covers most of what you will need for our time in the field:

  • Hat
  • Rain Coat
  • Camera
  • Canteen
  • Work Gloves
  • Good Hiking Boots & Socks
  • Shorts & Long pants
  • Knee Pads (optional)
  • Light Coat
  • Back Pack (large capacity)
  • Bug Spray
  • Sun Block
  • Small First Aid Kit
  • Windbreaker
  • Wrist Watch
  • Personal Rock Hammer (optional)
  • Pocket Knife
  • Gumption

Hotel Info

*Hotel included in trip cost (double occupancy)

Sage Motel: Newcastle, Wyoming

Fly into: Rapid City, South Dakota
Address: 1227 S. Summit Newcastle, Wyoming 82701
Phone Number: 307-746-2724
Website: http://sagemotel.weebly.com/
Notes: Great motel!

Westerner Motel: Chadron, Nebraska

Fly into: Rapid City, South Dakota
Address: 300 Oak St. Chadron, NE. 69337
Phone Number: 308-432-5577
Website: http://www.westernerinns.com/
Notes: Great motel!

Tipperary Lodge Motel: Buffalo, South Dakota

Fly into: Rapid City, South Dakota
Address: 604 1st St W, Buffalo, SD 57720
Phone Number: 605-375-3721
Website: NA
Notes: Hotel review from one PaleoProspectors participant: “New managers are Fantastic!”

Cottonwood Inn: Glasgow, Montana

Fly into: Billings, Montana
Address: 45 First Ave NE, Glasgow, MT 59230
Phone Number: 406-228-8213
Website: http://www.cottonwoodinn.net/home.aspx
Notes: Has a pool

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