Paleontology Trek

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Paleontology Trek

Serious Science. Seriously Cool Dinosaurs.

Paleontology Trek connects students with a professional Paleontologist and his colleagues in some of New Mexico’s most exciting dig sites. Trekkers will travel to multiple active excavation sites to unearth dinosaur bones and prospect for future discoveries. Trekkers will work alongside researchers on an active dig and will learn techniques for processing artifacts for local museum displays. There will also be an opportunity for a behind the scenes tour of Albuquerque’s Natural History Museum and the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum. This trek is a perfect fit for a student interested in paleontology–there’s no need to know the difference between an Ornithischia and a Saurischian; only a need to be willing and eager.

While the majority of this program is focused on paleontology, students will get a chance to visit the Cottonwood Gulch Basecamp and will have the opportunity to learn new skills like metalsmithing, animal tracking, plant identification, mountain biking, farming, cooking, music, and rock climbing. The exact specialties of our staff vary from year to year, but we always have an incredibly talented and knowledgeable team that is excited to introduce trekkers to new skills as well as offer deeper exploration for those already familiar with a topic.

More Information: 

Trek Description-Paleontology Trek

Scholarship Application

Packing List

Trekker Frequently Asked Questions

Essential Eligibility Criteria 

Plans and Preparation Document

COVID-19 Information


Trek Details

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Age: 14-18

Dates: June 18-July 4

Minimum Group Size: 8

Maximum Group Size: 10

Instructors: 2

Elevation Range: 5,000 to 11,000 feet 

Average Pack Weight: daypacks typically weigh around 15 lbs. 

Course Starts and Ends: Albuquerque, NM

Full Cost: $3,550, scholarships available, college credit included

“Dr. Axel showed us what he’s been digging up. There were many, many bones kept under plaster and tarps. A few of us worked excavating from a spot that seemed promising. We uncovered an armor plate (osteoderm) which was very large and impressive! The others prospected and dug up Phytosaur teeth from a certain place that had many. It was quite hot, but it was really interesting to see how excavation is done. Now we’re relaxing in the shade, drawing and talking and laughing. Michael is playing his guitar. It’s amazing how comfortable we are with each other! The people on this trek are so interesting, and I’m learning so much.”

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If you have a question, email us here or call 505-248-0563

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