National Fossil Day™   Explore Nature
National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Other Fossil Sites

Dinosaur Ridge tracksite
Visitors at Dinosaur Ridge in Colorado learn about dinosaur trackway. Photo courtesy of Dinosaur Ridge.

In addition to the National Park Service, many other Federal, state, county, and local areas provide opportunities to see fossils and learn about paleontology.

How many are in your home state?

A-C | D-G | H-L | M-N | O-T | U-W

 


California

Anza-Borrego State Park

The badlands of Anza-Borrego State Park represent a nearly complete depositional sequence of the last 7 million years of Earth's history. Fossils found in the approximately 6,000 meters of sediments include the bones, teeth and tracks of prehistoric land mammals such as llamas, camels, and mammoths as well as the fossilized remains of marine organisms, such as corals, mollusks, sharks and even whales.National Natural Landmark logo Learn more...

Rancho La Brea

The La Brea Tar Pits trapped and preserved millions of plants and animals from the last Ice Age, including huge mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, dire wolves, and giant ground sloths.National Natural Landmark logoLearn more...

The Petrified Forest

Step back in time, over 3 million years, and follow the trail of majestic petrified redwood giants arrayed before you in a fascinating grove. Once buried under thick layers of volcanic ash and sediments, these petrified redwoods are slowly being unearthed by the process of erosion.
Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


Colorado

Dinosaur Ridge (a part of Morrison-Golden Fossil Area NNL)

Dinosaur Ridge is one of the world's most famous dinosaur fossil localities. Late Jurassic Apatosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Allosaurus bones have been discovered here, along with tracks from Early Cretaceous animals, such as Iguanodon-like dinosaurs and crocodiles. National Natural Landmark logoLearn more...

Garden Park Fossil Area

Many of the well-known large dinosaurs from the Late Jurassic have been discovered here, along with their tracks and even their eggs. This is the first location where stegosaurus fossils were found!National Natural Landmark logo Learn more...
Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


Connecticut

Dinosaur Trackway

Dinosaur Trackway State Park is one of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America, with an exceptional display of 200 million year old, Early Jurassic, fossil tracks.National Natural Landmark logo Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


Florida

Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

Windley Key is a former quarry, containing fabulous exposures of a 100,000 year old fossilized coral reef, now called the Key Largo Limestone.
Learn more...

Return to Top of Page

Indiana

Falls of the Ohio State Park

The 390-million-year-old fossil beds are among the largest, naturally exposed, Devonian fossil beds in the world. The park features a spectacular Interpretive Center overlooking the fossil beds containing an exhibit gallery and video presentation.National Natural Landmark logo Learn more...


Iowa

Fossil & Prairie Center

365 million years ago, during the Devonian Period, Iowa was an ocean and home to abundant marine life, such as coral, snails, clams, and squid and starfish-like animals. Come discover the fossilized remains of these creatures at the Fossil & Prairie Center.
Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


Kentucky

Big Bone Lick State Park

Big Bone Lick is the site of late Pleistocene bone beds which have yielded mammoth, mastodon, ground sloth and bison fossils. It is recognized by paleontologists as the birthplace of American vertebrate paleontology.National Natural Landmark logo Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


Maryland

Calvert Cliffs State Park

The cliffs reveal the remains of an amazing Miocene marine fauna, including porpoises, whales, sea turtles, enormous seabirds, and even the largest shark ever known to exist, Megalodon.
Learn more...

Dinosaur Park

Dinosaur Park is home to fossils of Astrodon johnstoni, Maryland's state dinosaur. Visitors can observe and even assist paleontologists in searching for the remains of dinosaurs, plants, and early mammals at this rare 100 million year old deposit of fossils.
Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


Mississippi

Mississippi Petrified Forest

Late Eocene trees were swept away by tremendous floods and buried deep beneath the earth by flood sediments and later by wind-blown glacial dust. As erosion has slowly worn away these layers, the now petrified trees are revealed at the surface here in the Mississippi Petrified Forest. National Natural Landmark logo Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


Missouri

Mastodon State Historic Site

Mastodon State Historic Site contains the Kimmswick Bone Bed, where bones of mastodons and other now-extinct animals have been discovered. This area is known as one of the most extensive Pleistocene ice age deposits in the country.
Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


Montana

Makoshika State Park

The Makoshika badlands have revealed a wealth of Cretaceous fossils including several well known dinosaur species such as, Triceratops, Edmontosaurus, and even Tyrannosaurus rex.
Learn more...

Montana Dinosaur Trail

The Montana Dinosaur Trail showcases 15 facilities located throughout Montana with exceptional dinosaur displays, interpretation and programs.
Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


Nebraska

Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park

Ashfall Fossil Beds is home to an impressive accumulation of complete Miocene animal skeletons, in particular the rhino skeletons are some of the best-preserved in the world. These animals are believed to have died from lung failure due to inhalation of volcanic ash. After death, the animals were buried under layers of this volcanic ash where they have been preserved intact for over 10 million years.National Natural Landmark logo Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


Nevada

Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park

Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park contains an abundant concentration of fossilized remains from the Mesozoic marine reptiles known as ichthyosaurs.National Natural Landmark logo Learn more...

Tule Springs Site

Tule Springs is a world-renowned Columbian Mammoth fossil site in the northern part of the Las Vegas Valley. Thousands of other Ice Age mammal fossils have been discovered here, including ground sloths, American lions, camels, bison, and ancient species of horse.
Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


New Mexico

Clayton Lake State Park

View more than 500 dinosaur footprints dating back 100 million years to the Early Cretaceous Period. These tracks originally formed in sediments which accumulated on the edge of the Western Interior Seaway. The resulting rock formation, called the Dakota Group, is also exposed with dinosaur tracks to the north, at Dinosaur Ridge in Colorado.
Learn more...

Prehistoric Trackways National Monument

This site contains extensive fossilized tracks dating back 280 million years to the Permian Period of the Paleozoic Era, before the dinosaurs! Footprints of prehistoric amphibians, reptiles, and insects can all be found, along with fossilized plant remains and petrified trees.
Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


South Dakota

Hot Springs Mammoth Site

Ice Age Columbian and wooly mammoth fossils have been recovered from this prehistoric spring-fed watering hole. The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs is the world's largest mammoth research facility.
Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


Tennessee

Gray Fossil Site

The 5 million year old Gray Fossil Site was discovered in 2000 by Tennessee Department of Transportation highway crews. There is evidence that the site was once a water filled sinkhole, attracting and then trapping animals inside its steep walls. Visitors can tour the fossil site and see the paleontologists hard at work in a fossil dig pit.
Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


Texas

Dinosaur Valley State Park

Dinosaur Valley is home to an extensive set of Early Cretaceous dinosaur track beds. Tracks of meat eating dinosaurs, theropods, are found along side herbivorous dinosaurs, sauropods. These tracks were originally formed on a vast tidal flat or muddy lagoon which existed along the edge of the Western Interior Seaway. National Natural Landmark logo Learn more...

Ladonia Fossil Park

Home to the North Sulphur River fossil beds, the park offers Cretaceous Period and Ice Age (Pleistocene) fossils for collectors and research. Located in Ladonia, Texas. The channelized riverbed, dry most of the time, stretches a distance of about ten miles to the west of and ten miles to the east of Ladonia Fossil Park and is open year round for fossil hunting. Cretaceous fossils including mosasaurs and plesiosaurs are found in the bed while Pleistocene fossils including mastodons and mammoths are found in the banks. Of particular interest to fossil hunters is the informal "red zone" that outcrops in the riverbed.
Learn more...

Mineral Wells Fossil Park

Mineral Wells Fossil Park is a former borrow pit for the town of Mineral Wells. Exposed inside the borrow pit are the fossil remains of ancient sea life from more than 300 million years ago, during the Pennsylvanian Period. Visitors can often find species of crinoids (sea lilies), urchins, brachiopods, clams, oysters, corals and even trilobites.
Learn more...

Waco Mammoth Site

Waco Mammoth Site is home to the only recorded nursery herd of Pleistocene Mammoths. Visitors can get a close-up view of an active paleontological dig site from the park's suspended walkway.
Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


Utah

Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry contains the densest concentration of Jurassic-aged dinosaur bones ever found. The deposit is also the largest collection of a large meat-eating dinosaur (Allosaurus fragilis) ever found. National Natural Landmark logo Learn more...

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

The park features petrified wood, petrified dinosaur bones, ammonite, and shell fossils.
Learn more...

Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail

The trail takes you along a 150 million year old sandstone containing the fossilized remains of Late Jurassic dinosaurs such as Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, Camptosaurus, and Camarasaurus.
Learn more...

Red Fleet State Park

Take a 1.25 mile hike leading to a collection of Late Triassic dinosaur tracks preserved in the Navajo sandstone.
Learn more...

St George Dinosaur Site

The St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site is home to exceptionally well-preserved dinosaur tracks, some displaying skin impressions. These tracks, along with hundreds of fossil fish, plants, rare dinosaur remains, and invertebrates traces, show evidence that this site was produced along the edge of a large, Early Jurassic (age between 195-198 million years ago) freshwater lake.
Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


Washington

Gingko Petrified Forest State Park

Petrified logs of the Ginkgo and many other tree species are revealed near this region of the Columbia River Gorge in central Washington. These logs have been entombed beneath flood sediments and lava flows for more than 15 million years. It was not until the end of the last Ice Age, approximately 17,000 years ago, when tremendous floods began to erode the overlying layers, exposing the now petrified logs.National Natural Landmark logo Learn more...

Return to Top of Page


More to come...

Many additional local parks may offer opportunities to learn about fossils. Please check back soon.

Don't see your favorite fossil site listed here? To add your organization's fossil site to this National Fossil Day webpage, please contact us for information about fossil park listings.


Geologic Time Scale

Return to Top of Page

Geologic Time Scale

Geologic timescale created by Trista Thornberry-Ehrlich (Colorado State University). Major life history and tectonic events occurring on the North American continent are included. Red lines indicate major unconformities between eras. Boundary ages shown are in millions of years (Ma). Compass directions in parentheses indicate the regional location of individual geologic events. Adapted from the U.S. Geological Survey's Fact Sheet 2007-3015, with additional information from the International Commission on Stratigraphy.
 
Return to Top of Page

Last updated: April 12, 2013