Mount Stephen Fossil Bed: Stone Bugs Galore (Yoho National Park)

Kootenay National Park

Hold a 500 million year old fossil in your hand!

On this short and steep adventure you will hike to the Mount Stephen trilobite beds that overlook the town of Field, BC. This historic site is where railway workers reported finding ‘stone bugs’ in the 1880s. Enjoy expansive views of the river below as well as the Kicking Horse Pass National Historic Site.

Reserve now!

Is this hike right for you? | Schedule | Cost | Reservations | Hike logistics

Mount Stephen hike

Difficulty: Difficult
Return Distance: 8 km
Elevation Gain: 795 m
Duration: 7.5 hours, 7 am to 2:30 pm

Is this hike right for you?

The Mount Stephen hike is rated as difficult and involves very steep elevation gain (795 m) over the relatively short distance of 4 km. From the Town of Field, you hike through steep, rustic forest trails before arriving to the Mount Stephen trilobite beds. There will be several short breaks along the trail to catch your breath. Your efforts are rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, glaciers and the Kicking Horse River valley. The descent is sustained and steep. This hike is not advised for people with recurring knee, back or ankle injuries. Hiking poles are mandatory on this hike.

Please see our day hikes page for details on hike ratings and to compare other hikes in Yoho National Park with similar difficulty.


We want you to enjoy your day! If you are unsure if this hike is right for you, please call us to discuss at 1-250-343-6783 or email us at

Schedule - 2023 Mount Stephen Hikes

Mt. Stephen guided hikes run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from June 10 to September 4.

When travelling east from Vancouver, the time changes from the Pacific Time Zone to the Mountain Time Zone at Glacier National Park’s eastern boundary. All hike times are in Mountain Daylight Time, the same time zone as Calgary, Alberta and Golden, British Columbia.


Visit our fees page for pricing.

All participants on the Burgess Shale Guided Hikes require a valid national park pass. Purchase your pass the day before your guided hike; the park gates and visitor centres are not open in the early morning, and our guides do not sell park passes.


Reservations are required and available starting March 29, 2023. To make a reservation you will require the following information:

  • Dates and hike requested
  • Names and ages of participants
  • Emergency contact and medical info
  • MasterCard, Visa or AmEx number

Call 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783), or reserve online.

Reserve now!

Hike logistics

Meeting point

Meet in front of the Yoho National Park Visitor Centre at 7 am MDT.

The Visitor Centre is located on the Trans-Canada Highway in the community of Field, British Columbia. Hike ends at same location.

Note: Construction in the Kicking Horse Canyon, 10 km east of Golden, means periodic overnight closures of the Trans Canada Highway between 10 pm and 7 am.

These closures may impact some visitors traveling from Golden, British Columbia into Yoho National Park on the morning of their hike. Check for details and alternate routes.


Your safety and the safety of our staff is our top priority. Parks Canada continues to follow the advice and guidance of public health experts to limit the spread of COVID-19, and reduce the risks to residents, visitors, employees and other users.  

  • Visitors are asked to continue to follow the advice of public health experts on personal hygiene and physical distancing during the hike program
    • Physical distance with people outside of your household.
    • Good hygiene, e.g. sanitize hands before and after eating/drinking, cover coughs and sneezes, avoid touching face.
    • Come prepared with your own “COVID-kit” including water, snacks, hand sanitizer and toilet paper
    • You may bring your own masks, if desired.
What to bring

A day of hiking in the Rockies requires preparation. Conditions can change rapidly in the mountains and higher elevations increase your exposure to the sun and stormy weather.  To have a safe and fun time outdoors you will need to bring:

Hikers on a trip to the Burgess Shale
  • Warm layers of clothes (no cotton), rain jacket and rain pants, winter gloves, and a winter toque / hat
  • Hearty lunch and multiple snacks
  • Drinking water, at least 2 litres or ½ gallon per person
  • Sturdy and worn in hiking boots and extra wool socks 
  • Hiking poles (required for the Mount Stephen hike). Note: Your guide may have hiking poles for you to borrow for the day.
  • Sturdy and supportive backpack with a waist belt
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat, insect repellent
  • Toilet paper in a plastic bag for disposal, hand sanitizer
  • Reading glasses, if you wear them
  • Blister kit and personal medical supplies (just in case)
  • Sorry, no pets please.
  • Camera!
Date modified :