Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in Nebraska
Basic information for visitors to the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument In northwestern Nebraska, north of Scottsbluff.
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in northwestern Nebraska, north of Scottsbluff.
Animal fossils in beds of sedimentary rock, formed about 19 million years ago by the compression of mud, clay, and eroded materials deposited by water and wind, are concentrated under the grass-covered hills at this monument along the Niobrara River. Native American artifacts document the visits of Lakota Chief Red Cloud and others to pioneer rancher James Cook's property from 1890 to 1940. The monument was authorized on June 5, 1965.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
Attending ranger talks, fishing, hiking, picnicking, touring historic quarry sites, viewing exhibits, watching film. Facilities: Visitor center, outdoor interpretive exhibits, museum, movie, hiking trails. Bookstore. Programs & Events: Ranger-guided tours. Guided walks, talks, and cultural demonstrations (Memorial Day-Labor Day). Tips & Hints: Go late May-Sept, for wildflowers. Busiest June and July, least crowded in Dec. and Feb.
FOOD & LODGING
Hotels: None in park. In Crawford: Fort Robinson Lodge (3200 U.S. 20, tel. 308/665-2900; 22 rooms, 34 cabins; $35-$90; closed Dec-Mar.), Hilltop Motel (304 McPherson St., tel. 308/665-1144 or 800/ 504-1444; 13 rooms; $54). In Harrison: Sowbelly Bed & Breakfast Hideaway (407 Sowbelly Rd., tel. 308/668-2537; 2 rooms; $40). X Restaurants: None in park. In Crawford: Frontier Restaurant (342 2nd St., tel. 308/665-1872; $6-$8). In Harrison: Sioux Sundries (201 Main St., tel. 308/668-2577; $3-$8; closed Sun.)
FEES, HOURS & REGULATIONS
Entrance fee: $3 adults, free ages 16 and under, $5 per vehicle. Nebraska state fishing license required. No hunting. Leashed pets only. No motorized or mechanized equipment except wheelchairs on trails or off roads. Monument open daily dawn-dusk. Visitor center open Memorial Day-Labor Day, daily 8-6; Labor Day-Memorial Day, daily 8-5.
HOW TO GET THERE
Between Harrison and Mitchell via Rte. 29. Closest airport: Scottsbluff (50 mi).
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument (301 River Rd., Harrison, NE 69346-2734, tel. 308/668-2211, fax 308/668-2318,). Scottsbluff-Gering United Chamber of Commerce (1517 Broadway, Suite 104, Scottsbluff, NE 69361, tel. 308/632-2133 or 800/788-9475, fax 308/632-7128,).
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. Basic information for visitors to the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument In northwestern Nebraska, north of Scottsbluff