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Chambless Trilobite Quarry
Rocks and Geology Around Las Vegas
Chambless Trilobite

The Chambless Trilobite Quarry, inside the Trilobite Wilderness Area, is a fairly small site with outcrops of fossil-bearing shale northeast of the ghost town of Chambless. Trilobites here occur in the Latham Shale, a greenish to brownish shale dating from the lower Cambrian (about 518 mya). These trilobites belong to the family Olenellidae (commonly called olenellids). Extinct blue-green algae (genus Girvanella, "oncolites") are common too. Link to additional information about the area.

Access to the site is via dirt and sand roads that generally are fine for 2WD vehicles, but conditions change, so walk rather than risk getting stuck. The quarry sites are on hillsides past the end of the access road. The area has been quarried for years, so follow the old road, looking for use-trails and quarry pits. This quarry is inside a wilderness area, so hike in and only use hand tools.

Link to map.

Chambless Trilobite

Accessing the site is complicated by levees along Highway 66. On Highway 66, about 200 yards west of Cadiz Road (Table 1, Site 01), turn north onto a dirt road. About 0.5 miles out (Site 02), turn right onto another dirt road. At 1.2 miles out, turn left onto a dirt road (Site 03). At 1.9 miles out, cross a dirt road (Site 04). At 2.2 miles out, stay left at a fork (Site 05). At 2.7 miles out, arrive at the 2WD trailhead parking (Site 06) at the foot of the mountains. On foot or an ATV, continue another 0.25 miles to the 4WD trailhead (Site 07).

The trail continues past the end of the road (Site 08), becomes faint, and eventually joins a use-trail near a low saddle behind a knob (Site 09). There is a quarry just above the saddle, but faint use-trails continue across wash and onto next hillside where the main quarry sites (Site 10) are located.

Chambless Trilobite Quarry
Quarry Sites (view NE from near the highway)
Chambless Trilobite Quarry
Access Road (view NE from just past cross road)
Chambless Trilobite Quarry
Access Road (view NE at fork in the road)
Chambless Trilobite Quarry
Access Road approaching 2WD trailhead (view NE)
Chambless Trilobite Quarry
Access Road at 2WD trailhead and campsite (view NE)
Chambless Trilobite Quarry
End of Access Road (view NE from 4WD trailhead)
Chambless Trilobite Quarry Chambless Trilobite Quarry
Chambless Trilobite Quarry
Quarry site on low saddle
Chambless Trilobite Quarry
Quarry site on low saddle
Chambless Trilobite Quarry
Low saddle (view N towards main quarry area)
Chambless Trilobite Quarry
Returning towards the trailhead (view SW)
Chambless Trilobite Chambless Trilobite
Chambless Trilobite Chambless Trilobite Quarry
Chambless Trilobite
Trilobite
Chambless Trilobite
Girvanella, an extinct genus of blue-green algae

Table 1. Highway and Hiking Coordinates based on GPS Data (NAD27). Download GPS Waypoints (gpx) file.

Wpt. Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
01 Hwy 66 at Access Road 34.56184 115.54899 722 0.00 0.00 GPS
02 Old Farm House 34.56975 115.54893 749 0.56 0.56 GPS
03 Road Intersection 34.56811 115.53787 757 0.65 1.21 GPS
04 Road Intersection 34.57229 115.52724 816 0.72 1.93 GPS
05 Road Forks 34.57505 115.52371 869 0.28 2.21 GPS
06 2WD Trailhead 34.58103 115.51794 955 0.54 2.75 GPS
07 ATV Trailhead (outside wilderness) 34.58432 115.51689 1,082 0.25 3.00 GPS
08 Old Road Ends (inside wilderness) 34.58480 115.51633 1,113 0.04 3.04 GPS
09 Saddle 34.58586 115.51650 1,161 0.09 3.13 GPS
10 Quarry Area 34.58686 115.51755 1,243 0.12 3.25 GPS

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 150707

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