Progress Notes

Rainbow Basin 2

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This is another view of the Rainbow Basin Syncline. The hills to the left and the right are uplifted ancient lake bed mud. This is the beginning of the fossil bed area that has been extensively excavated by museums, colleges and universities, usually in cooperation with the County Museum. These hills are tan but many of the fossil bearing hills are green mud. The fossils wash down out of the hills into the flat land and ravines below, so you can walk along and see fossils here and there if you know what they are supposed to look like. For example, fossilized bones around here are yellow-brown and usually have some of the green mud hardened on them. After a while your eye becomes trained so that you notice green and brown together as you walk along, looking down and trying not to trip.


This is one of the green hills. In the fossil bed area many of the green hills have been dug into to find fossils. The fossils found in place have a better provenance than fossils that have washed out of the hillsides because they can be placed at a certain level and the location is certain where loose fossils in a wash are not in a stable location.


The light colored cylinder is a fossilized root, the only thing we found that day. It isn't legal to take any fossils or artifacts so the best thing is to photograph them and leave them for someone else to find. The only way to get to dig up or collect fossils and artifacts legally is to volunteer at a dig or take classes with field trips.