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“Stone fish”

Fossil Butte National Monument
Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Kemmerer
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 7, 2013

The expression, you can't judge a book by its cover certainly applies to Fossil Butte. When looking at the landscape, you see a flat-topped scrub-covered butte. In reality, it's a long gone lake and in the layers of sediment, like pages in a book, are thousands of fossils.

The visitor center is really well done. There is a time line etched into the railing leading to the door that marks the appearance of various plants and animals on earth and at Fossil Butte. It is a long walk before humans appear. The visitor center offers a couple of videos. One on the research the scientists do in the lab and in the quarry located in the monument and another on how they quarry the fossils. Replicas of incredible fossil finds are on display in the visitor center.

The ranger suggested we hike the trail that leads to the quarry area and than branch to the left and follow game trails to the top of the butte. The trail to the top is a fairly steep climb but once there, it's a level walk to the far side of the butte where we saw a herd of pronghorn. The view from the top is spectacular. Working our way back down the butte we accessed the Chicken Creek trail. This trail is wooded and quite different from the first part of the hike. We finished our visit on the scenic drive. The quarry is closed when the scientists are not there. It would have been a real bonus if the quarry was active.

We spent half a day here and if the quarry had been open, we would have stayed longer. We highly recommend visiting Fossil Butte.

3  Thank Davis K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"nature trail"
in 14 reviews
"scenic drive"
in 21 reviews
"visitor center is"
in 17 reviews
"fossil butte"
in 31 reviews
"on display"
in 16 reviews
"out of the way"
in 13 reviews
"picnic area"
in 9 reviews
"national monument"
in 12 reviews
"worth the detour"
in 6 reviews
"park ranger"
in 6 reviews
"sea life"
in 3 reviews
"friendly and knowledgeable staff"
in 2 reviews
"fossil collection"
in 5 reviews
"elevation gain"
in 2 reviews
"junior ranger"
in 2 reviews
"million years"
in 4 reviews
"mule deer"
in 4 reviews

144 - 148 of 182 reviews

Reviewed October 2, 2013

The visitor's center is very nice. The outside timeline as you approach the visitor's center is very interesting and is worth reading. The film is good, and the displays of the fossils are informative. This is an interesting place in a pretty "out of the way" location. It is worth the drive if you are interested in fossils. Next time I want to go dig some fossils!

Thank UtahRabbit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2013

Another of the national monument gems. There is a good reason they make these places national monuments and this one does not disappoint. Mostly it is the excellent visitor center which includes a good movie that is the attraction here. Was very cool to see all the fossils in this the fish fossil capital of the world. Able to see one of the rangers uncovering a fossil in the lab right off the main area. Good collection of fossils in the vistor center. We also took the drive to the top of the butte to see the view.

Thank PopTopBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

Fossil Butte has one of the most extraordinary fossil collection dug right on the premises. It is a little out of the way, so if you are so inclined, the Park Ranger may well have time for a 15 minute conversation about the science of the site.

The video is very helpful, and the exhibits are worth exploring. If going in the summer, you will be more inclined to explore the hillsides if you go early or late in the day.

1  Thank Lynn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 4, 2013

We were heading north to Jackson Hole and stumbled across Fossil Butte National Monument while mapping out our plans. I didn't have many expectations but turns out to be a really nice place to visit. The rangers are very helpful. The highlight at visitor center is of course the paleontologist working on a fossil. Do check in advance if the quarries are open.

1  Thank Nelson K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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