The story of life in Glen Canyon and Rainbow Bridge can be found written into the layers of rock around the park. It is a story with many chapters spanning back over 300 million years into the past. Some of the oldest layers in the park preserve the the "sail backs" of extinct early amphibians, while the youngest layers include Ice Age mammals such as mammoths and shrub oxen. This story is diverse, complicated, and extremely valuable to scientists.
The fossils found within Glen Canyon and Rainbow Bridge help us piece together the puzzle of ancient life in this area and around the world. Every find is significant and provides a connection to an ancient world that is long gone.
Removing fossils from Glen Canyon is illegal. If you find a fossil, please leave it in place and report it to a park ranger. Never make molds or castings, or apply anything to fossils and trackways. We encourage you to report any fossil finds you make in the park. You will receive full credit for any discoveries and may even have a new species named after you.
Read a summary of Mesozoic Era (made up of Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous Periods) fossils in Glen Canyon.
Watch our "Fossils at Glen Canyon and Rainbow Bridge" video to learn more about the history of ancient life in both parks.
Last updated: April 10, 2018