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Charleston Fossil Adventures, LLC



Founded in ethical collection practices. Always upheld.



Since 2016, author Ashby Gale and Charleston Fossil Adventures, LLC have become Charleston's trusted source for legal commercial paleontology in the Lowcountry, providing unparalleled education about South Carolina's vast prehistory. 

We invite you to come on out and unearth these natural treasures with us, as you discover PRE-Historic Charleston!


  • We NEVER plant fossils. What you find is what washed out that day!

  • Small group sizes limited to 6 people on the river.

  • A paleontologist will always be your guide!

  • No trespassing, no digging, no illegal poaching.
    CFA is proud to be founded in ethical collection practices, and has remained in good standing with state agencies for the entirety of the company's operation.

3X Voted BEST Tour Guide and
Outdoor Activity in Charleston!


Charleston Fossil Adventures, LLC and its participants are proud to be in compliance with all state laws regarding the legal collection of fossils and artifacts in South Carolina. Since its inception in 2016, CFA remains in good standing with the Maritime Research Division under the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology. LEARN MORE.

About Us

October 16th -- March 14th
2023-2024 ADVENTURES!

DURATION: 3 hours
Recommended ages: 4+

Come find jet black fossils on a white sand beach! Fulgurites (lightning-struck sand) are also common finds. Complementary fossil identification session to follow.

DURATION: 6 hours
Recommended ages: 10+

Spend six hours on our sandy island collecting all kinds of shark teeth and fossils!  Complementary fossil identification session to follow.

DURATION: 3 hours
Recommended ages: 4+

Come spend two hours collecting fossils on our sandy island, and then enjoy a one hour sunset cruise through Charleston Harbor!

DURATION: 5 hours
Ages: 10+ (Ratio of 1:1 adult:youth)

Enjoy kayaking through one of Charleston's iconic waterways as you travel to our sandy island full of fossils! Complementary fossil identification session is included.

DURATION: 7+ hours
Recommended ages: Client's discretion

Enjoy maximum flexibility with our off-season private adventure option! Complementary fossil identification session to follow. One autographed copy of Ashby's field guide included.


March 15th -- October 15th

New Adventure Options:
-Protect your refund with cancellation insurance
-Save money with our NEW Adventure Bundles
-Book a private trip with Ashby

RATE PER HEAD: $199 (ages 2-12)  $225 (ages 13+)
DURATION: 5 hours
 Captain Mike
Capacity: 12 people

Recommended ages: 7+
Tour structure: Enjoy a 15 minute boat cruise with scenic views and frequent dolphin sightings to Morris Island. Experience a guided walk on the island to the areas with the most fossils and shark teeth. A fossil identification session is included at the end of the Adventure!

Make it private: $1300 flat rate on available dates

RATE PER HEAD: $99 (ages 2-12)  $125 (ages 13+)

DURATION: 2 hours

Guide: Captain Ash
Recommended ages: 4+

Tour structure: Enjoy a scenic boat cruise to one fossil site. After 1.5 hours of hunting, return to the landing and end tour.

Make it private: $750 flat rate on available dates

RATE PER HEAD: $199 (ages 2-12)  $225 (ages 13+)

DURATION: 4 hours

Guide: Captain Ash

Recommended ages: 7+

Tour structure: Enjoy a longer boat cruise to two fossil sites. After 3 hours of hunting, Ashby will sort through everyone's finds and provide accurate identification of every fossil.

Make it private: $1300 flat rate on available dates

Pre-2023 analog: 1/2 day Fossil Kayaking Adventure


DURATION: 6 hours

Guide: Captain Ash

Recommended ages: 13+

Tour structure: Enjoy our longest boat cruise to three fossil sites. After 5 hours of hunting, Ashby will sort through everyone's finds and provide accurate identification of every fossil.

Pre-2023 analog: 3/4 day Fossil Kayaking Adventure

Custom Private Adventure 

FLAT RATE: 2024 pricing released soon
DURATION: You decide!

Guide: Captain Ash

Tour description: Want the maximum flexibility of a private experience and Ashby's undivided attention, complete with a catered picnic lunch? Select this tour for our VIP experience! You pick the duration, number of sites, and up to six people for one convenient flat rate.


Also included: Custom YouTube video of your fossil ID session, fossil sorting containers, and one autographed copy of 
A Beachcomber's Guide to Fossils.

**Please note that we do not collect fossils on this tour!**

RATE PER HEAD: $59 per person, all ages

DURATION: 2 hours

Guide: Captain Ash

Tour description: Enjoy a 2 hour river cruise past four of Charleston's historic plantations dating back to the 1600s! During the cruise, Ashby Gale will cover the lesser known history of how paleontology led to Charleston's Reconstruction era prosperity. 


Plantations visible from the river: Middleton Place (1741), Magnolia Plantation (1676), Drayton Hall (1747), and Runnymede Plantation (1705). 

Make it private: $350 flat rate on available dates

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Receive 15% off cruise tickets when bundled with any Fossil Hunting Adventure! (Subject to availability.)

Our Services

What can I expect on my trip?!

SUBSCRIBE to Charleston Fossil Adventures on YouTube for more great fossil content! The best part about this subscription? It's 100% FREE!


Ashby Gale


2020 Cover Design.jpg
Trust a published paleontologist to identify your fossil treasures!

Ashby Gale is the owner and chief paleontologist for Charleston Fossil Adventures, LLC. Prior to founding CFA, Ashby served as the Interpretive Park Ranger at Edisto Beach State Park where he curated their fossil collection for three years.


From 2014-2020, Ashby worked with his parents on publishing 
A Beachcomber's Guide to Fossils (University of Georgia Press), a full-color field guide with over 1200 photographs of common beach fossils found from Texas to Florida, and north to New Jersey. 

Ashby has presented on his research both regionally and internationally at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Geological Society of America, and Southeastern Association of Vertebrate Paleontology conferences.

Continue reading...

The Face of CFA
Success Stories


"Has there ever been a better name for a paleontologist from Charleston than
Ashby Gale? No, no there has not." ~K. Egan

This was the best part of the day:
Ash himself.


[My daughter found] a very rare tooth. So rare that Ashby didn't have one in his own collection, so rare that it wasn't pictured on his reference card, so rare that he whooped just a little bit when she shyly showed him.

Suddenly, we felt like paleontologists, too.

"To be able to have that connection with an extinct animal drives that fascination.”

Gale is no stranger to fossil-finding. It’s a love he’s made a career of as a paleontologist and the founder of Charleston Fossil Adventures.

The outfitter helps people legally find Charleston’s abundant fossils—the keyword being “legal.” Anyone can use a bucket and a shovel, which can destroy our fragile rivers and navigable waterways.


That kind of dig is illegal, and Gale, a paleontologist, is always mindful of the ecology around him when searching for fossils.

Contact Us


Our Info


Daily:  8:00 AM – Dusk




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