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Hike-in Required
Yes
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.

In December of 2014, Tule Springs Fossil Beds at the northern fringe of North Las Vegas was given National Monument status. This was done in part to protect the fossil beds from the encroaching sprawl of the Las Vegas urban area. Currently, while there is still no visitor center or park infrastructure at all, Tule Springs Fossil Beds remains protected and open for those who walk out into its 22,650-acre expanse.

Tule Springs Fossil Beds contains a wealth of paleontological specimens of interest, most notably one of the world's greatest records of Ice Age fossils. Fossils found in the area previously include seemingly fantastical Ice Age mammals like the Columbian mammoth (one of the largest species of mammoth), camelops, saber tooth cats, large sloths and the dire wolf. Fossil fragments have been dated between 3,000 to 200,000 years old.

Walking through the wire fencing, worn footpaths lead into the rolling buttes spread throughout this section of the Las Vegas Wash. Signs of human disturbance, including litter, dog waste, and spent shotgun shells line the ground in areas, contributing to the call for protected designated status for the area. Once you climb from the flood-worn wash and onto the buttes, fossils aren't just easy to find, they lie everywhere. The buttes provide protection from the city noise, and a short walk here can allow you to feel much more distant from the urban area just a few dozen meters away.

While the national monument remains in a mostly primitive state, this may eventually change as more features and amenities can be added. Because there are no ammenities, there is also no cost to visit. Currently the monument is day use only, and no shade exists in the fossil beds, so be prepared. Those seeking additional information about Tule Springs Fossil Beds can find more info on the Protectors of Tule Springs website.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Relatively quiet space near the city.

Cons

Lots of dog waste. Damage by humans.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Features

Family friendly
Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

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