Tate Dinosaur Digs

2020 Tate Dinosaur Safaris

Thanks for your interest in joining the Tate Geological Museum on one of our popular summer Dinosaur Digs.

New for this year… we are changing the name to Tate Dinosaur Safaris.  AND we will be offering a small number of single day outings at our late Cretaceous dinosaur site north of Lusk.  Details below.

The goals of Tate Dinosaur Safaris are to offer fun, educational experiences to the public while building up the museum’s collections for display and research.  Registration will be through the museum.  The fee  includes six nights of lodging, six dinners, five field lunches, five breakfasts at the hotel in Lusk or Medicine Bow, snacks, drinks/water, and all ground transportation from Casper.  The price is $1000 for a double occupancy room.  There is an extra fee ($300) if you want to room solo. A non-refundable deposit of $450.00  is required upon registration to hold your place. The balance of the fee is due no later than 60 days prior to the start of the dig. The minimum age for participation is 16  and all 16 and 17-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult participant.  We take between seven and ten people out on each dig, so spots fill up fast.

The trips are run by the Tate’s field operations and prep lab manager, JP Cavigelli.  JP’s expertise has led to his participation in numerous paleontological expeditions throughout the West as well as in Niger, Mongolia, Alaska’s North Slope and Tanzania. JP’s recent projects include leading the excavation and preparation of Lee Rex, the only Tyrannosaurus rex found in Wyoming that is staying in Wyoming.

Fee Includes

Cost is $1000 for all digs. Here is what is included in the cost of the week-long Safaris.  (For single day Outings scroll down).  Accommodations in Casper at the Ramkota Hotel on Sunday evening prior to the dig and Friday evening after the dig are included. The Ramkota offers a free shuttle to and from Casper-Natrona County International Airport. The cost of a dig also includes hotel accommodations in either Lusk (Covered Wagon Hotel) or Medicine Bow (Virginian Hotel), depending on the dig site.  The Covered Wagon Hotel in Lusk offers continental breakfast. The hotel’s indoor pool and hot tub are always welcome after a hard day in the field. The Virginian Hotel in Medicine Bow is more rustic… although it has a sit down restaurant breakfast (and no pool).  All hotel accommodations are double occupancy. Same sex roommates are assigned as necessary. Single occupancy, based on hotel room availability, can be arranged at extra cost of $300.  Any hotel rooms that differ from this arrangement are not covered in the cost of the dig.  Simple, delicious lunches in the field are provided daily, as are dinners each night in town. Booze is not included in the cost of trips.  Dig fees also include all transportation from Casper to the dig site and back to Casper at the end of the dig.

2020 Schedule

We will be going out on four Dinosaur Safaris this summer, the first one on July 12-17, the second one August 2-7, the third August 16-21 and the fourth August 30-Sept 4. These dates are all Sunday evening through Friday. Participants should be in Casper that Sunday evening for dinner with the group.  Fossils collected remain property of the Tate Geological Museum, although participants are usually allowed to bring home a few samples of bone. Additionally, a museum volunteer/photographer typically documents the dig and shares photos with participants.

July 12-17 (Full) and August 16-21 (Full) will be at the Meadow Ranch in eastern Wyoming, digging in the late Cretaceous Lance Formation; about 65-66 million years old.  We have been collecting on this ranch for fifteen years and still have a lot to do there.  There are a number of sites we may work during the week.  There are a few bone beds, sites with all sorts of bones mixed together, some Triceratops sites.  The final decision of what we will work on will be made later… I am open to the ideas of participants.  We may also find some time for prospecting.

August 2-7 (Full) and August 30-Sept 4 (Almost Full… please call before sending in your registration) we will be will be returning to the Morrison Formation at Como Bluff, near the town of Medicine Bow, Wyoming.  The fossils here date to the Jurassic Period and are about 140 million years old.  We will continue to explore and collect at the Rodopodosaurus site which has produced a Diplodocus tail and skull and many isolated bones and teeth of various Jurassic beasts.  We may also dig at other sites on this ranch.  This ranch is part of the historical Como Bluff that was collected by Cope and Marsh in the early days of dinosaur exploration.  Numerous historic quarries are here.

Participants are required to sign and return the Registration Form and Release Form with the non-refundable deposit in order to reserve a spot. Please print these and send them in with your deposit payment to the address below.

Tate Dinosaur Safaris

Tate Geological Museum

125 College Drive

Casper, WY 82601

Single Day Dinosaur Outings:

NOTE: The July Single Day Digs have been cancelled due to concerns about Covid-19.  At this time, we are still hoping to do the August digs.

New this year we will be offering single day dinosaur digs based out of Lusk, WY.  These digs will go to the same places as our week-long trips, but hotel and meal costs are on your own.  We will meet participants in Lusk at 7:30 AM on the following days ONLY.  July 9, 10 and 11 and August 13 and 14.  A minimum number of participants is needed for each trip. Minimum age is 8 years old, and all minors must be accompanied by an adult.  Registration closes at 5PM Mountain Standard Time the day before the trip.  Driving personal vehicles to the site is not allowed; you must ride in the the Tate Geological Museum vehicle and no dogs or other pets are allowed.

Costs and Registration Forms will be posted soon. 

For more information on any of these outings please call 307-268-2447 or email J.P. Cavigelli. 

NOTE:  Please do not buy a plane ticket until your registration is confirmed.  I send out a letter of confirmation as soon as I get the paperwork and the deposit.  Paperwork INCLUDES the release form.