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Rockhounding in Canmore Alberta

Edmonton, Canada
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Rockhounding in Canmore Alberta

Hello,

I am new the rockhounding hobby and think I know of a good spot in Canmore I might try my luck. What I would like to know is if anyone has ever tried hounding in the area and if they have any tips or locations I can try out. Again I am fairly new so if you could provide what I should keep my eyes out for that would help alot as well :)

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: Rockhounding in Canmore Alberta

Hi Michael, and welcome to the TripAdvisor forums! As far as I can remember, this is the first question I have seen here on the forums about rockhounding. You may already be aware of this, but collecting or removing rocks (along with any other natural material) from the national parks is illegal. Canmore is outside of the national park though. I am not sure what the regulations are within provincial parks, so you might want to check on that if you plan to go to any provincial parks.

Calgary, Canada
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for Canadian Rockies
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2. Re: Rockhounding in Canmore Alberta

I actually had to look up the term 'rock hounding' :o)

I suppose you could rock-hound around Canmore, but collecting and/or removing any rock is strictly forbidden in provincial (I think) and national parks. Which is most of the land around Canmore - i.e. Spray Lakes, Kananaskis Country etc etc.

It's also probably distinctly frowned upon anywhere else, given that most of the land which is not federally/provincially owned is private or First Nations land. There are a fair number of locations which have pictographs and/or have meaning to the First Nations, and removing rocks, I suspect, would not be appreciated. Nor would it be appreciated on any of the climbing routes, other than the rubble at the bottom which is unlikely to be of much interest. My impression is the predominate ethos around the area is of the 'take only photos and memories' type.

My suggestion would be to either do 'visual rockhounding' - i.e. take pictures of the interesting rock, or do some google searches to get in contact with local geology groups. They are more likely to know about the ins and outs of local legislation/tradition and where you may be able to take samples.

Edited: 14 May 2014, 17:05
Calgary, Canada
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for Canadian Rockies
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3. Re: Rockhounding in Canmore Alberta

A bit of further research indicates that ollecting rocks in provincial parks/wilderness areas etc. is illegal:

"It is illegal to remove, deface, injure or destroy plants, fossils and rocks."

So, as indicated, your options around Canmore are very limited.

Calgary, Canada
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4. Re: Rockhounding in Canmore Alberta

Alberta also has strict laws prohibiting the removal of fossils from any land, public or private. This is a legacy from the "Bone Rush" that saw many Alberta dinosaur skeletons exported to New York's Museum of Natural History.

So you're probably asking yourself, "Where *can* I pick up rocks?" If you're not in a national or provincial park, road cuts are good spots to stop and look at rocks and collect them. Ben Gadd's Canadian Rockies Geology Road Tours book is a good resource, and he explains about the underlying earth history as well:

http://www.bengadd.com/BenGaddBooks.htm

5. Re: Rockhounding in Canmore Alberta

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