Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

For decades, petrified corkscrew formations had archeologists, locals, and guests alike confused to their origins. This remained a mystery until the discovery of a small fossilized skull inside one of the corkscrew cylinders. Scientists later pieced together that prehistoric beaver-like creatures dug deep into the earth, creating helical burrows to reside and raise their offspring. Predators would often get trapped in these burrows that would have escape routes for the beavers. These fossilized remains are one of many different types found in the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. Hidden in the northwest corner of Nebraska lies an unsuspecting hotbed of prehistoric remains. The fossil beds served archeologists well for years and now house a visitors center and trails. Vast shortgrass prairies extend outward with faint shadows of cattle grazing much like American bison and the prehistoric beasts before them. Guests can spend a full morning or afternoon venturing through the trails and the visitor center. The fossil beds are an hour's drive from Scottsbluff, Nebraska, which is home to Scottsbluff National Monument, and another hour south of places like Fort Robinson State Park and the Nebraska National Forest as well as Chadron State Park.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Ancient fossil beds.

Cons

Requires driving.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Features

Geologically significant
Wildlife
Bird watching
Big vistas
Native artifacts
Wildflowers
Family friendly

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

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