U-Dig Fossils began as a business plan in college for Shayne Crapo, owner. U-Dig Fossils is home to common and rare trilobite fossils. At over 500 million years old, these extinct trilobites are some of the oldest living organism remains you can find - all by yourself, right here in Millard County!
People come from all over the world to experience this one-of-a-kind dig. U-Dig Fossils allows you to dig the trilobites yourself and take home what you want! Let's start from the beginning - over 500 million years ago...
Once covered by an ancient Lake, Millard County in Utah has unique mountain formations cut from archaic water exposure and volcanic activity. At the bottom of the lake beds, evidence of past life was deposited for us to discover later. There are many different kinds of trilobites, some more abundant than others. As trilobites grew, they molted their outer shell. Every time trilobites molted, the shells were bigger and bigger, and can be found today in the U-Dig Quarry from the size of a 1/16 of an inch, up to 4 inches in length. These shells fell to the lake floor and with time were covered up with sediment, which under millions of years of pressure, resulted in layers of shale rock. U-Dig Fossils has claim to the best trilobite shelves around.
Upon arrival at the U-Dig Fossils site, experienced staff will give you a look into the past. They will give a short presentation, provide you with a fossil identification sheet to show you what to look for and then take you to the dig site. They will demonstrate how to locate trilobites and other fossils and make sure you find what you came for - a unique experience and valued treasure to take home.
There are only a few locations in the world where this age of mid Cambrian rock is exposed. U-Dig's location specifically is sought out by travelers all over the world because the fossils are abundant and because they are so old. You can actually dig at U-Dig and take everything you find. The fossils can come out in one piece easily, making U-Dig Fossils overall experience truly one-of-a-kind.
The location of U-Dig Fossils was first discovered by Native Americans and became more widely known after people from all over the US came to this area to work at CCC Camps during the Great Depression. While making roads in the area, the fossils were discovered. The fossils were collected and were even used to make crafts and jewelry. There are displays of some of these in the Topaz Museum in Delta. Nowadays, U-Dig fossils provides customers the experience of finding their own fossils and The Bug House (A business owned by Shayne's Mom Althea Crapo) sells trilobites to rock shops and customers all over the world. Topaz Mountain Adventures in Juab county is also a family connected business that will blast rock for you to look for Topaz etc.
U-Dig Fossils has about half its visitors come from out-of-state, and half from in-state. In 2020, the business had to get creative because of COVID-19 and invested heavily in advertising. It paid off - U-Dig doubled its best year in 2020. Delta's remote location was ideal for tourists to get a quick break from online-indoor life because social distancing was easy in its great outdoors. In 2020, they had thousands of visitors. Shayne and Carrie Crapo know that tourism helps our community because their visitors shop and stay in town. They love Millard County and are excited to continue to help Millard County increase the number of tourists coming to our county as a destination.
Thanks to Gordo's Lotsa Motsa Pizza for doing lunch. They are under new ownership, but the taste is the same great taste!