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

    Agate Fossil Beds

    National Monument Nebraska

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Natural Features & Ecosystems

Across wetlands to the Fossil Hills

Looking across the wetlands of the Niobrara River to the Fossil Hills.

Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is a small park in the northwest corner of Nebraska, with only 2,700 acres of federally managed land included in the 3050 acres within the park boundary. The park takes its name from thin lenses of agate (White River Silicate Group) in the area, which range in color from amber to light gray. Miocene-age rocks are exposed in the park in the bluffs above the Niobrara River wetlands and contain an excellent fossil record. Much of the geologic history is recorded in the natural features found at the park today.

Did You Know?

Lakota families traveling from the Pine Ridge Reservation to visit at Agate Springs Ranch.

Lakota families traveled 150 miles by team and wagon to visit the Agate Springs Ranch. This trip took almost a week and they needed to carry a pass to leave the reservation where they lived. Many long time residents remember seeing the visiting American Indian dancers at the Agate Springs Ranch. More...