Clarkia Fossil Site (Idaho)

The field trips were organized by the Eastern Washington chapter of the Native Plant Society and hosted by the Eastern Washington University at Cheney WA. We went on two of those field trips: the Steptoe Butt State Park in Washington and the Clarkia Fossil Sites near Clarkia in Idaho.

The Clarkia Fossil Sites are located near Clarkia ID, more than 2 hours drive from Cheney. Some sites are in public and private land. The site we visited is owned by Dr. Bill Rember, a paleobotanist, who let us in to hunt for fossils. It is an amazing site. "Hunt" is not the right word for our endeavour. Every time we split up a chunk of sedimentary rock, we found plant fossils (12 millions old!!). Bill also graciously let us keep what we found!!!

We also walked through the forests to look at plants after the fossil hunt.

(Left) Hole dug exposing fossil record in Clarkia Fossil Site (Idaho)      (Right) Birch fossil

(Left) Compression-impression fossils of Bald Cypress - plant appears on both sides when rock is split       (Right) Left to right: Chestnut, Sweet Bay

(Left) Two leave-fossils on top of each other       (Right) Clockwise from left top corner: Popular, Sweet Bay(?), Carolina Moonseed, Chinese Legume

(Left) Bird's Nest Fungi. Spores in the cup dispersed by raindrop displacement.       (Right) Field of Camas

(Left) Camas covered with pollinators       (Right) Golden color mushroom

(Left) Unknown       (Right) Trillium

(Left) Orchid       (Right) Balsamroot

Ponderosa Pine Cones

Sign Guestbook

Steptoe Butt State Park

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