Ashfall announces schedule for spring, summer

May 23rd, 2013 | By | Category: 2013, Arts & Entertainment, Issue, May 23

Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park has announced its 2013 season schedule through Oct. 13.

The 360-acre park near Royal displays three-dimensional skeletons of prehistoric animals, including rhinos, camels, three-toed horses, and birds, among others — all preserved in the area where volcanic ash killed them 12 million years ago. The paleontology treasure is a joint project of the University of Nebraska State Museum of Natural History and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Spring and summer hours:

• May 24 to Sept. 2: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

• Sept. 3 to Oct. 13: Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sundays 1-4 p.m. (closed Mondays)

More than 40 skeletons are on display, intact in the fossil bed sheltered by Ashfall’s 17,500 square-foot Hubbard Rhino Barn. More skeletons are discovered every summer.

The new Dickinson Fossil Heritage Center features educational exhibits and activity areas for children, including a fossil dig area and fossil bone puzzles. There are also new exhibits on petrified wood, rivers of Nebraska, and the contributions of farmers and amateur paleontologists from the area. The park’s visitor center features interpretive displays, fossil preparation laboratory and gift shop. In addition, visitors can enjoy the natural setting on nearby nature trails, which were developed to help interpret the geology and plant life of the area.

Picnic tables are available at the park and campers may use nearby Grove Lake Wildlife Management Area.

For more information and directions, call 402-893-2000 or go to

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