Visitor Center Hours
The visitor center at Agate Fossil Beds will be open the following hours: Memorial Day till Labor Day Open Daily 9 am - 5 pm; Labor Day till Memorial Day Open Daily 8 am - 4 pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.
History & Culture
During this time of scientific exploration other gatherings took place at the Agate Springs Ranch. Red Cloud of the Oglala Lakota Sioux and many of his friends and family members would make the 150 mile trip by wagon from the Pine Ridge Reservation. While staying at the ranch they hunted, worked for James Cook, and butchered beef they were given, tanned hides, told stories and danced. Many residents of the surrounding area remember going to the ranch to watch and participate in the dancing and singing. From the gifts given through a friendship forged between the cultures this extraordinary collection of American Indian artifacts became known as the James H. Cook Collection. Special items such as Red Cloud's shirt and three generations of pipebags as well as items of daily use are included in the collection.
Did You Know?
The name, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, came from the name of James Cook’s Agate Springs Ranch. Travelers to the ranch would say that they were going to Agate. The agate in the area is of a moss agate type, but is not a reason why the park was established. More...