What is the difference between the Explorers’s Experience (2-hour tour) and the Adventurer’s Experience (4-hour tour)?
The 2-hour and 4-hour tours are not set in stone in their make-up. Sometimes the tide or weather is not working with us so we might end up spending time in the gallery before or after departing. We will also sometimes change the distance the Explorer’s covers based on the group size and physical capabilities.
All else being equal, though, the Explorer’s Tour walks on the beach for 1 hour, turns around and walks back, all the while the Interpreter is explaining fossils found on the beach and the geological/paleontological/history of the area.
The Adventurer’s Tour functions in a similar way except that you usually hike 2 hours, turn around, and walk back all the while the Interpreter is explaining fossils found on the beach, the geological/paleontological/history of the area. Also, we provide a snack and drink for this tour that is included in the price.
Will I see a greater variety (different species) of fossils on the longer tour?
Not necessarily, as this is entirely dependent on what fossils have been exposed through erosion recently. There’s probably a better chance of seeing a more diverse range of fossils if only because you’ll see a greater quantity of fossils.
Will I see better fossils on the longer tour?
Not necessarily. There’s probably a better chance of seeing better fossils if only because you’ll see a greater quantity of fossils. There is no secret plot to keep the best fossils hidden for the Adventurer’s Experience in hopes of selling more of that tour. We are at the mercy of the Cliffs in terms of what is available to be seen on any given tour.
Is the terrain more difficult on the 4-hour tour versus the 2-hour tour?
Yes. The Adventurer’s Experience most often goes over reefs and bigger rocks. The difficulty is certainly higher than the shorter tours, as well as involving more hiking.
Why should I take the 4-hour tour if I might not see better quality fossils or a wider variety of them?
I recommend the Adventurer’s Experience for people that have a very deep interest in paleontology/geology/history and also are up for a good hike. On the 4-hour tour you have more time to ask your guide questions, and there is more time to get into the details of the subject. Additionally, there is usually more time for exploration with a knowledgeable guide to interpret fossil finds.