I am a little reluctant to post this since I haven’t exactly become an expert on this particular area just yet. This is a chance for anyone reading this to help me out though ha ha ha! We visited this location the last two Saturdays and finally found the specific site spoken of in several of the resources I’ve come across (we think). Sometimes it is hard putting together all of the information out there or even just validating its accuracy in the first place. But here goes nothing…
I am aware of previous and/or existing claims in this area. We came across one of these claims on one of the ridges (there was a little red shack next to it). On Google Earth or Google satellite view you can see this from above as a large white area on the map where the dirt road drops down a bit. It is just Northwest of the marker I placed on the map. We searched the hillsides around this claim and found chips and small pieces of the red horn coral, agate, jasper, and various fossils.
On the way back we met a couple of hikers who informed us that we had taken a wrong turn and ended up the wrong canyon. We spent the rest of the day searching the area they suggested we try, but were, for the most part, unsuccessful (not to mention extremely tired).
The next week, after searching online and staring at Google satellite images for hours on end, we determined to take the Cedar Hollow road just past the town of Woodland that seems to wrap up and around the location (mainly so we didn’t have to hike as much–we are lazy farts like that). After getting the Subaru stuck in a massive snow bank for a several hours, it became apparent that hiking in was our only chance.
Many people we had asked about this location mentioned that it was about a mile and a half from the base of the canyon. After hiking that distance, we searched long and far all over both sides of the trail, but still were only able to find bits and pieces. It was only with about 30-45 minutes before we had to leave for the day that we finally found what we presume to be the location.
You can imagine at this point that we were frantically digging with berserk-like fury for anything and everything that resembled what we were looking for, knowing that it might be weeks or even months before we would be able to return. We did find several specimens, but our enthusiasm to return to this location is off the charts.
I should mention that even before finding the actual human digs that we did come across a large hole dug by an animal of some kind. Upon rooting through the pile of dirt around the hole, much to our surprise, we found a rather large specimen. Obviously, it seems silly to randomly dig holes all over the mountainside, but you might have similar luck checking holes where someone (or something) has already done the work for you.
From the intersection of 800 North and I-15 in Orem, Utah
1. Drive East on 800 North for 3.7 miles to the Provo Canyon turnof
2. Take ramp on left onto US-189 N/E Provo Canyon Road
3. Drive 21.5 miles and turn left (North) onto US-189 N/Us-40 W/South Main Street in Heber
4. Drive 4.7 miles and turn right (Northeast) onto N State Road 32
6. Continue another 6.0 miles to destination on left (there is a parking area at the base of the canyon)
7. You’ll now begin your hike into Riley’s canyon. Take the main trail from the road and hike just barely over 1 mile and you will see the digs up on the mountain to your left about 180 feet from the trail
8. If you start seeing the huge white tailings residue on the left side of the trail you went just a little too far (but in reality you might see success searching all over this area)