Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is there a fee to visit the Monument?

No, there are no fees charged at the Monument, but donations are always welcomed.

2. Where can we dig for fossils?

Digging for fossils is not allowed within the National Monument. All animals, plants, and rocks (including fossils) are protected by law and cannot be removed or harmed. Even if the fossil is right on top of the ground it is protected by law and should not be removed or moved. Oftentimes where a fossil is found can be as important as what the fossil is.

3. Why can't we dig for fossils?

Fossils are heritage resources and national treasures that are important for their scientific, educational and recreational values. They should be available for the enjoyment of all.

4. Were a lot of fossils found here?

Yes! So far over 200 species of plants and animals fossils were found in the 4400 acres that makes up the Hagerman Fossil Beds. Who knows what we may find tomorrow!

5. Do you have any dinosaurs?

No, the fossils found here are much too young to be dinosaurs. The fossils found here are between 4 - 3 million years old and dinosaurs went extinct over 65 million years ago.

6. What is there to see out on the Fossil Beds?

Currently there are two overlooks established. Both are scenic overlooks. The Snake River overlook gives you a wonderful view of the Snake River, the town of Hagerman, and portions of the Monument's bluffs. The Oregon Trail overlook is three miles further up the road. At this overlook you can hike the Emigrant Trail to see a portion of the Oregon Trail.

7. Will we see fossils at these overlooks?

No, you will not see any fossils at these overlooks. The best place to see a wide variety of fossils up close is at the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center has many different fossils on display as well as replicas for you to examine.

8. When does the Monument close?

Bell Rapids Road is a public road that leads to the Monument. Therefore it never closes. Visitor Center hours vary.

9. What are they doing in the laboratory?

Since this is a working research center the paleontologist and her crew are actively doing fossil science in the lab. We have one full-time NPS paleontologist and a vacant fossil preparator position on permanent staff as well as many seasonal workers and interns.

10. Are you still doing digs? Where?

Yes, our paleontological team frequently does field work. There are more than 600 fossil sites within the Monument. Within these sites scientists have found more than 40,000 specimens to add to the collections. Most fossils these days are found on the surface, exposed by weather or erosion. There is no quarry site being explored.

11. Do I need to be concerned about rattlesnakes here?

We are in rattlesnake country. It is best to be cautious and stay on existing trails. There are many species of snake here, and most snakes you will see are not rattlers. If you see a snake, just back away slowly to let them know you mean no harm.

Last updated: September 19, 2022

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 570
Hagerman, ID 83332


208 933-4105

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