• The Agate Fossil Hills where mammal fossils were excavated in the early 1900's

    Agate Fossil Beds

    National Monument Nebraska

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    If you cannot reach the park by phone, please click the Contact Us link on the left side of this page to email a ranger. Staff will call or email back during business hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where's the agate?
    James Cook named his ranch "Agate Spring Ranch" possibly after the local moss agate. Examples of the local agate can be seen in the Visitor Center, but are not a prominent feature of the park.
  • Can I see real fossils?
    Several fossils can be found in exhibits along some of the monument's trails. Exhibits in the visitor center contain a few real fossils and many plastic resin replicas.
  • Are they still digging?
    There are no actual excavations currently happening or planned. Museums already contain many fossils taken from this site for further study.
  • What if I find a fossil?
    This is a national monument, so all animals, plants, and rocks (including fossils) are protected by law and cannot be removed or harmed.
  • What about rattlesnakes?
    Prairie rattlesnakes are a normal part of grasslands found at Agate. They are rarely seen and normally try to avoid humans, but encounters do happen.

Did You Know?

This painting hangs in the Den exhibit in the Cook Gallery.

Red Cloud, a chief of the Oglala Lakota Sioux, was one of the most photographed American Indians. More than 128 photos were taken of him during his lifetime. An oil painting of Red Cloud painted at the Agate Springs Ranch hangs in the “Den” exhibit in the James H. Cook Gallery. More...