Fossil Butte National Monument

Eocene Green River Shale

Near Kemmerer, Wyoming

Fossil Butte National Monument

Fossil Butte, near Kemmerer Wyoming is a national monument preserving an area of exposures of the Eocene age Green River formation.
The monument features a very nice museum where many of the more spectacular fossils are preserved for public viewing.

The Butte

The formation was created by accumulation of annual sediments into a large freshwater lake, resulting in a laggerstatten
of superbly preserved biota both terrestrial and lacustrine. The most spectacular fossils come from a specific layer in the
rocks known as "the 18 Inch Layer". The other layers, called "Split Fish" layers a refull of finely preserved fish and other animals
that are found by splitting the shale along the layers with a very this chisel.

Fossil Displays

The museum, located a few miles west of the actual butte. It features well presented information and displays dozens of finely preserved and prepared fossils.

A Fossilized Turtle

This turtle was likely found in the 18 Inch Layer.

Typical Small Fish from the Split Fish Layers

In addition to the museum, the monument offers hiking trail and interpretive activities.
The entire area is protected by the national monument designation so collecting of fossils on the public land is prohibited.

National Monument Website ---> Fossil Butte NM Website

However, there are a number of "pay to play" quarries where the land is leased from the government and the public can collect fossils for a fee.
A day spent at any of these quarries will yield fossils of commercial value in excess of your cost if you want that many fish!
Some will retain possession of any rare specimens that you find, but since they are rare, you probably won't find any of those!

"Pay to Play" Quarries

[ Warfield Quarry] - [ Ulrich's] - [ Fish Dig"]

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