One of the best ways to experience a national park site is by participating in a ranger program! Fossil Butte National Monument offers a variety of ranger programs during in the summer months.
Fossil Preparation Demonstrations
The fossils we see in exhibits and museums didn't come out of the rock that way! To display fossils takes a lot of work and patience. Learn about the tools paleontologists use while you observe the delicate process of a ranger preparing a fossil in our Visitor Center's scientific lab. This program is available daily between 10 am and 5 pm.
Fossil Quarry Program (Summer Only)
Ever wonder how fossils are found and collected? Join us in the Research Quarry and learn all about the real life work of a paleontologist. You will learn more about ongoing research, help us look for fossils, and record the findings of the day. While you cannot keep any fossils, you can contribute to the world of science!
This program is available Fridays and Saturdays from June 22nd to September 1st, 11 am to 3 pm. Prepare to hike a 1/2 mile up-hill, gaining about 300 feet in elevation. Be aware that there is no shade, water, or restrooms available at the quarry. Restrooms and water are available at the start of the Nature Trail, where you will begin this walk. Wear comfortable hiking boots and bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and insect repellent. If you have not been to the quarry before, we suggest stopping by the Visitor Center for specific directions.
All fossils found and collected will remain in Fossil Butte's museum collection for scientific study. There are private, commercial quarries in the area where you can pay to dig for fossils. For information on private quarries, please visit the Fossil Basin Promotion Board webpage.
Allow 1.5 hours for this program. Reservations are not required. If you discovered a fossil while participating in this program, download the Fossil Lake Quarry Data Spreadsheet to view the data collected. If you do not see the fossil you discovered on the spreadsheet, check back as the document is updated periodically.
Experience a National Park Service tradition by participating in a ranger presentation! All programs are 20-25 minutes long.
Porch Talk: Learn about a topic related to Fossil Butte's ecosystem or history in this hands on, interactive ranger talk.
Timeline Walk: A lot has happened in 4.5 billion years! Join us for a stroll around our outdoor timeline where we will highlight some important moments in earth's history.