Did you know that around 300 million years ago, Payson was part of the ocean!?! Geologists have learned this from the multiple limestone deposits that are still there. Fossils like corals, seashells and other remnants of sea creatures can still be found. There is a little area 13 miles east of Payson, near Kohl’s Ranch, called the Indian Gardens Paleo Site that is open to the public and free of charge! Check out our extended GEM family members Billy and Larissa Hinshaw as they take their mini-paleontologists Maelani and Kailee on a fun-filled adventure!
Here are a few tips and tricks to help your adventure run smoothly:
Bring water and food since there are no restaurants or food marts around.
Wear protective gear and clothes such as goggles, glasses, gloves, and knee pads, hats, closed shoes since it’s dangerous to dig and find fossils without them.
Help save the environment by not leaving your garbage.
Be there early since the parking may fill up quickly.
Bring some tools like brush, rock hammer, chisel, and screwdriver for a better digging experience!
Put on sunblock because you’ll be out there when the sun is high and you don’t want to get burnt.
Always be careful while walking or digging because some rocks may be sharp.
Brush off the dirt to clean the fossils you have collected. As much as possible, do not use water, because they could get mushy and crack in the future if you do so.
We hope you enjoyed sharing this experience and that it may encourage you to go explore our amazing state! Thank you to the Hinshaw Family for sharing this wonderful adventure!