• Knightia eocaena mass mortality

    Fossil Butte

    National Monument Wyoming

Outdoor Activities

David Haddenham's cabin
A fossil hunter's home along the Historic Quarry Trail
NPS photo
 
Hiking Trails Two trails with wayside exhibits provide opportunities to experience the geology, fossils, wildlife, plants, and wide-open spaces of Fossil Butte National Monument. Both dirt trails gain elevation and have some steep up and down sections. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, carry plenty of water, and protect yourself from the sun and insects. Vault toilets at each trailhead are wheelchair accessible.
 

Horseback Riding Enjoy the national monument from a different perspective. Horseback riding (bring your own horse) is allowed in the monument along stock trailing corridors. Riders please note requirements at bottom of route map.

 
shaded picnic area

NPS photo

Chicken Creek Picnic Area Aspen trees shade the picnic area 2.5 miles north of the visitor center. Tables, charcoal grills, and water are available. The walkway from the parking area, one picnic table, and vault toilet are wheelchair accessible. The parking area is suitable for trailers and RV's.

 
Fossil Butte from scenic drive

NPS photo

Scenic Drive A 7.5-mile scenic drive (3.5 miles paved, 4 gravel) provides another view of Fossil Butte and the surrounding area. Wayside exhibits along the paved section interpret the present-day wildlife and the subtropical environment of 50 million years ago. Visitors driving LARGE RV'S OR PULLING TRAILERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO TURN AROUND AT THE PICNIC AREA. The gravel road beyond the picnic area parking lot is narrow and steep. Allow 30 minutes to an hour to complete the drive.
 
mule deer

NPS photo

Wildlife Viewing "Is sagebrush the only thing that grows here?" "Where are the animals?" visitors ask. From a distance, this place may appear desolate. A closer look reveals springs and seeps that support aspen groves, willow thickets, beaver ponds, limber pine forests, and other plant communities. These different habitats are home to a variety of animals and plants.
 
evening primrose

NPS photo

Wildflowers in Sagebrush Country Wildflowers of many colors abound in the various plant communities of the monument. In late May and early June, the low growing cushion plants explode into bloom. In June and July, watch for larkspur, sego lily, camas, paintbrush, blue flax, lupine, phlox, geranium, wild rose, and shooting star just to name a few.
 
Fossil Butte sunset

NPS photo

Night Sky Viewing Lots of open space and almost no light pollution make Fossil Butte National Monument a good place to view the night sky.

Did You Know?

sagebrush country, photo by Rich Walter

Fossil Butte National Monument is one of a few areas in southwestern Wyoming not grazed by cattle and sheep.