Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is located in Western Nebraska near the border of Wyoming. This semi-remote park offers the opportunity to explore two trails that lead to fossil dig sites.
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
The park is surrounded by prairie grasslands offering the opportunity to view Pronghorn Antelope and other wildlife.
The visitor center has a diorama showcasing mounted skeletons that represent the Miocene Epoch mammals that were found in this area.
The visitor center is a short easy walk from the parking lot. It is a paved ADA Accessible walkway into the visitor center.
There is a great picnic area right next to the visitor center with shade, picnic tables, and garbage.
Visitors can watch "The Fossil Hills," the monument's twelve-minute orientation video
Junior Ranger Program
You can pick up a great Junior Ranger program at the visitor center. They also had a ton of other great junior ranger programs including paleontology, space, and sound.
The Junior Ranger program is a great way or kids and adults to learn more about the park.
The Junior Ranger book is set up for all ages. To receive a badge you do the number of activities that correspond to your age divided by 2.
Activities include a dot to dot, word search, bingo, and more.
Fossil Hills Trail
The Fossil Hills Trail departs from just behind the visitor center at Agate Fossil Beds.
This 2.7-mile round trip trail has a gradual uphill section that leads you to the University and Carnegie Hills.
Once you read the Univesity and Carnegie Hills the trail is flat. One really great thing about the Fossil Hills Trail is the entire trail is paved and ADA Accessible.
The Daemonelix Trail is located near the entrance to Agate Fossil Beds NM.
There is a great parking area that is large enough for RVs or large vehicles. One thing to know is there are no bathrooms at the trailhead.
The Daemonelix Trail is one mile long and steep in sections.
There is no shade along the trail so you will want to be prepared for the hot sun.
Just off of the main road leading to the visitor center, there is a pull-out and interpretive panels for the Bone Cabin.
The Bone Cabin was originally built in 1908 by Harold Cook. He wanted to file a homestead claim to the land.
The original cabin was used from around 1914 to 1923 by paleontologists who worked in Agate Fossil Beds.
In 1996 the Bone Cabin was stabilized and the exterior was restored to look like it did in 1910. The interior has not yet been restored and is closed to the public.
Agate Fossil Beds NM is semi-remote. There is no services for 25+ miles in either direction of the park.
You will want to make sure you have a full tank of gas, snacks and water before heading to the park.
Restrooms - There is a bathroom at the visitor center but not along the road into the trail.
Rattlesnakes - There are many signs warning about Prairie Rattlesnakes in the area. The signs warn that they are common and to stick to the trails so you can see where you are stepping.
We thankfully did not see any snakes during our visit.
Cell service – we had great service at the park with T-mobile.
Things to bring with you – There is very little shade on the trails so make sure you are prepared for the sun and hot weather. Sunscreen, hat, and water at a minimum.
Things to know when planning a visit to Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
Park Address - 301 River Road, Harrison, NE 69346
Park Hours - The park's two trails are open from dawn till dusk every day.
The visitor center is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.
Entrance Fee - $0.00, There is no entrance fee to visit the park
National Park Sites near Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
Scotts Bluff National Monument - 52 miles
Fort Laramie National Historic Site
Niobrara National Scenic River
Check out all of the National Parks in Nebraska and neighboring Wyoming National Parks, South Dakota National Parks, Iowa National Parks, Missouri National Parks, Kansas National Parks, and Colorado National Parks