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Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park

86930 517th Ave

About 12 million years ago, a volcano in southwest Idaho spread a blanket of ash over a very large area. One or two feet of this powdered glass covered the flat savannah-like grasslands of northeastern Nebraska.

Most of the animals which lived here survived the actual ashfall, but as they continued to graze on the ash covered grasses, their lungs began to fill up with the abrasive powder. Soon their lungs became severely damaged and they began to die.

The smaller animals died first (smaller lung capacities) and finally, after perhaps three to five weeks, the last of the rhinos perished.Their bodies were quickly covered by the blowing and drifting ash.

Undisturbed except by an occasional scavenging meat-eater, the skeletons of these animals are preserved in their death positions, complete with evidence of their last meals in their mouths and stomachs and their last steps preserved in the sandstone below.


Nicole Kallhoff

Sunday, June 3, 2018
It was raining when we visited, so it was nice that the fossils are protected from the elements by shelter that made it easier for us to stay and see the exhibit. The fossils are interesting and the information was presented by a knowledgeable guide. However, there isn't much else to see / do there so I'm not sure that it was worth the 2.5 hour drive it took for us to go. If you happen to be driving through the area, it might be worth a stop.

Darrel Lechner Jr.

Sunday, June 3, 2018
My daughter's loved it! Thanks again for all your wonderful intern's working so hard! Truly an epic trip and well worth the drive from LaVista Nebraska!

Robert Bucholz

Saturday, June 16, 2018
It is an amazing place, the people are very friendly and willing to tell you about their work. A definite must see.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Incredible. Wish I could bring every evolution-denier here to ask them to explain it. Science is fact, and the evidence is real.

cory Coverdell

Saturday, May 12, 2018
One of the coolest fossil sites in North America. No where else can you see so many complete fossil skeletons in the place where they died.

Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media