Fossils and Much, Much More

During the 1890s, scientists rediscovered what the Lakota Sioux already knew—bones preserved in one of the world's most significant Miocene Epoch mammal sites.

Yet, this place called "Agate" is a landscape that reflects many influences—from early animals roaming the valleys and hills, to tribal nations calling the High Plains home, to explorers passing through or settling in the American West.


Every Kid in a Park Logo

Every Kid in a Park

Fourth graders can earn a free pass to visit public lands with their families! Complete a fun activity to get your pass and start exploring.

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The large head of the fearsome Dinohyus.

Mammal Fossils

After the Age of Dinosaurs came the Age of Mammals. Agate Fossil Beds features unique animals from the Miocene age.

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This beaded saddle blanket is an example of the items displayed in the Cook Gallery.

The James H. Cook Collection

A friendship between James Cook and Red Cloud of the Oglala Lakota Sioux grew during the late 1800's. From this friendship came the Cook Collection.

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The view from the top of the Daemonelix Trail.

Hiking Trails

Two trails totaling almost five miles are available for the hiking crowd. Walk to the early excavation sites or view an unusual trace fossil.

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Pastel painting of Niobrara River

Artist In Residence Program

Artists may find the landscape at Agate Fossil Beds and the park museum collections inspiring for their work.

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The Fossil Freeway highlights several fossil sites in western Nebraska and South Dakota.

The Fossil Freeway

Come travel the "Fossil Freeway" and get acquainted with the deep history of North America's High Plains!

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Needle and thread grass

A Sea of Mixed Grass

Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is composed of almost 3000 acres of mixed grass prairie. Over 300 species of native plants are found here.

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Cattle drives go through the monument a couple of times a year.

Ranching in Sioux County

Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is in the middle of ranch country. Driving to the monument gives one a sense of living with the land.

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