Fascinated by fossils? Fossil Butte National Monument in southwest Wyoming is a paradise for fossil lovers. Well-preserved fossils are frequently found on the flat topped ridges in this high elevation sagebrush desert. The park is the discovery site of some of the world's best-preserved fossils, which include species of fish, insects, reptiles, birds, mammals, and plants, from the time the area had a subtropical landscape and lake.
Established in 1972, the monument covers 13 square miles, 8198 acres, of what was once ancient Fossil Lake. At its lowest elevation, the park is 6620 feet above sea level, and at its highest point, the summit of BullPen, it is 8084 feet above sea level. Situated on high, cold, sagebrush covered desert, the park experiences very cold winters and very hot summers so be prepared for the extreme climate conditions at the site.
There are numerous hiking trails for visitors to explore and do a little fossil treasure hunting of their own. Pets are allowed to join their people on trails, and in the parking lot area, provided they are kept under control and on a leash. The visitor center located at the monument has excellent indoor fossil displays and interpretive information available. There is no camping at the monument, however, informal camping in the surrounding countryside is permitted and RV camping with amenities is available at Bear Lake, a short drive to the west.