Have you got adventure on your mind? Consider a trip to Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in Idaho. It's a great place to check out some of America's richest fossil deposits.
The property is best known for its Pliocene fossils, one of which includes multiple deposits of the rare Hagerman Horse, the original one-toed equine.
In 1988, the Hagerman Horse was proclaimed the state fossil of Idaho and its home a national monument. Today, the grounds contain the Hagerman Horse Quarry, a spot that is considered a national landmark. It is believed the fossil remains discovered at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument date back 500,000 years. The record shows an interesting ecosystem with a variety of different habitats. Though there is no place to hike at this park, the visitor's center displays a few of the artifacts for families to view.
Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument is one of four national parks found within the Oregon Trail National Trail system. Wagon ruts can still be seen along the route from lookout points above the park.
For an interesting time exploring ancient fossil finds, plan to visit Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument. You'll have a great time.
The trip from Boise, Idaho to Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument is 98 miles. To reach the park, begin by following Route 26, taking a right hand turn at the sign for Hagerman. Take a left hand turn onto Highway 30 East and continue directly into town. The Visitor's Center can be seen on the left hand side just outside Hagerman City Park. This route travels along two lane highways. Roads are kept in good condition year-round, and traffic progresses well. Road construction is infrequent.
Parking is available via a lot at the entrance to Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument.
There is no public transportation available to this monument.
Twin Falls/Jerome KOA is located in Jerome, Idaho. This camping facility offers RV and tent camping as well as cabin rentals by reservation only. Full power hookups are available. Generator use is acceptable, and dogs may join their families but must remain on a leash. RVs up to 80 feet can be accommodated here.
There are many amenities at this campground including a swimming pool, modern bathrooms with flush toilets and showers, a playground, a dog park, Wifi, and cable TV. The property is also close to many attractions and activities including mini golf, a snack bar, bike rentals, pedal boats, and laundry facilities.
Though there are no fossil specimens still on display in the actual beds, families can enjoy seeing a few artifacts in the on-site Visitor's Center. This building is easy to locate just outside the Hagerman High School.
The Visitor's Center has an informational film, giving a glimpse into the fossils discovered on the grounds and the excavation process. There are also several activities and maps which outline the things to do on the monument grounds.
Fancy having a picnic lunch in your own fossilized version of Jurassic Park? Why not bring along a packed meal to enjoy at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument?
Enjoy your meal in one of the picnic areas or wander through the fossil grounds where you can eat a snack and dream of what life must have been like there over 500,000 years ago.
Bring along a packed lunch, some drinking water, and comfy shoes if you plan to hike to your lunch destination.
Though the environment at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument has changed dramatically over 500,000 years, it now remains a thriving climate for many different species of wildlife. It is believed that in its earlier years, the grounds were home to such species as mastodon and camel.
Today, the low rainfall amount makes the area the perfect environment to support a vast array of plant and animal life including many different varieties of migratory birds.
Many of the fossils that were excavated at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument are now on display at Hagerman Valley Historical Society Museum where the conditions are right for preservation. Enjoy viewing fossil remnants of some of the most ancient prehistoric animals including a full-size replica of the Hagerman Horse and a mural illustrating what the area may have looked like 500,000 years ago.
Check the museum's website for hours of operation and entry fees.
Though there are no specific hiking trails on the grounds, it is still well worth your time to leisurely stroll through Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument. Bring along comfortable shoes and set out on your own course for adventure, toting your camera to capture some photos.
You will need to be sure you have lots of drinking water with you to prevent dehydration. A snack or two always hits the spot as well.
A beautiful spot, particularly when the leaves begin to turn, you won't want to miss a trip to Owsley Bridge and Waterfront Park. This small property consists largely of an attractive suspension bridge which runs over the Snake River. Though small, it is extremely picturesque and is complete with picnic areas and short dirt-lined paths for taking leisurely strolls by the water's edge.
Bring along good walking shoes and some drinking water. Fido is welcome to tag along too, but please keep him on his leash.