Fossil Butte National Monument, Kemmerer
Categories: National Parks, Historic Sites, Nature & Parks, Tourist Spots
Fossil Butte National Monument is located in Kemmerer. Add Fossil Butte National Monument and other attractions to your Kemmerer trip itinerary using our Kemmerer trip generator.
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We went on a weekday recently and were amazed at what we saw in this beautiful Place. The rangers are eager to share what they know with adults and kids who are interested. We learned about the once t... read more »
Great place to visit if you like fossils. The visitor's center is full of fossils, mostly of things from a prehistoric lake, not dinosaurs. If you are into fossils, go here, then go to Dinosaur Nation... read more »
This is a small unit of the NPS, so we weren't expecting much. It's literally out in the middle of nowhere. Get off I-80 at Hwy 30. BE SURE TO GAS UP BEFORE THIS INTERCHANGE!!!! There's NOTHING at the... read more »
Fossil Butte is, as the name suggests, a fossil-oriented park. It is known for its plant and animal fossils from just after the dinosaurs died out, in the Palaeocene and Eocene epochs, especially its well-preserved and abudant fish. One of the most eye-opening features of the park is its geological timescale. Starting about 2/3 of a mile from the visitor center on Chicken Creek Road, you start seeing signs about events that have occurred, starting with the formation of Earth 4.567 billion years ago. Using a scale of 9” = 1 million years, you see more events as you drive to the visitor center. Once you park at the visitor center, you see more events, such as the extinction of dinosaurs, as you walk to the entrance. Arriving near the entrance door brings you to the present time on the timescale. Inside the visitor center is one of the best museum-like displays of fossils in all of the fossil-oriented parks. It was somewhat busy the day we arrived, a warm midday in July, but not enough to ruin the experience. An unexpected treat was to be able to watch a park employee working to reveal a new fish fossil from the rock containing it. As he was working under a microscope, what he was seeing was displayed on a TV screen above him. If you’re into hiking, the sagebrush and butte environment of the park is one where you can walk in beautiful solitude.
Our family stopped by to spend some time here and see the amazing fossils kept in this museum. Not many people visit this place, but I think it worths the detour. We come from Spain and fortunately English is not a problem for my 6yo daughter, who enjoyed every minute there. We were very lucky because Ranger John showed her around the place and taught her personally how a paleontologist works. My daughter wanted to be a paleontologist since the next day. A month later, and having seen 20 more national parks and monuments such as Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Arches and many other wonderful places during our holidays, she still says that her favourite visit was to Fossil Butte.
The best part about this monument is the timeline. When you first pull onto the park grounds signs will tell you when the earths ozone was created at "X" number billion years ago. Every 8 inches is a million years. Then you get to the walkway a mile later to find that it continues around the building. It lists the creation of dinosaurs, plants and even great extinctions until the very end at one million, man. It shows a very large representation on why mother nature always wins. Because she deserves it. I talked to ranger John for about half an hour and he knows his stuff. The small exhibit was neat as well.
And unexpected stop that I am glad we did not miss. Great collection of fossils, and displays. Can't wait to return and explore more
The visitor center was nice. It was a good stopping point between Yellowstone and Salt Lake City.
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