Northwest College

A.L. Mickelson Field Station


Archaeology of the Site

The Field Station is located in the northwestern part of Park County, Wyoming, at an elevation of 7,500 feet. Geologically, the area is underlain by the Permian Park City formation, referred to in this area as the Phosphoria formation. Some Triassic Dinwoody is also present; however, Dinwoody is comparatively soft and weathers and erodes rapidly, exposing the hard siliceous limestone and dolomite of the Permian Phosphoria. A soil mantle covers most of the area, but the hard Phosphoria isn't very far below the surface.

The area surrounding the Field Station and that which lies to the west is like most of the greater Yellowstone area, offering some of the most complex and interesting geology in the world. The topography was sculpted by great movements of the earth in the form of faults accompanied by many earthquake episodes, resulting in displacements of thousands of feet. Explosive volcanic eruptions and rock glaciers are evident in the area. The Field Station lies within the path of the Heart Mountain detachment. Information obtained from a report on the Dead Indian Archeological Site indicates, from material excavated, the McKean type culture inhabited this region about 4,500 years ago. Charcoal for carbon dating was removed from some of the firepits that were uncovered. This site appears to be a good find in that the indicated McKean culture, though widespread, has had little exposure.

Photographic Opportunities

The area is in the heart of the Shoshone National Forest. It is partially covered by trees, mostly Douglas fir and limber pine with some scattered lodge pole pine. Part of the property is an open park covered with scattered shrubs, grass and a host of flowering plants.

The surrounding forest land is managed habitat for elk, sheep, goat, moose, deer, grizzly and black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, coyote, wolf, smaller animals and birds of all descriptions. Covering the area is a wide variety of plants and plant communities, serving as a valuable watershed, wildlife habitat and forage, livestock forage, and recreational opportunity. Photography buffs and outdoor people are invited to explore this unspoiled wilderness.

Retreat Opportunities

Reservations for the high/low ropes challenge course need to be made in advance by contacting Keith McCallister at 307-754-6115.


Deb Jacobs
Senior Office Assistant for Physical Plant


Dennis Quillen
Facilities Director