“glimpse into Iowa's geologic past”
Imagine walking on a 375 million year old ocean floor! This glimpse into Iowa's geologic past was first exposed during the Floods of 1993 at Coralville Lake, then again more were exposed during the Floods of 2008. The fossils and limestone bedrock of the Devonian Fossil Gorge date back almost 200 million years before the dinosaurs! The Welcome to Devonian Fossil Gorge - A Window into Iowa's Geologic Past brochure is located at the entrance to the fossil area with detailed information. The markers listed in the brochure have all been destroyed by the Floods of 2008, but the information in the brochure is still accurate.
Amazing stop that was enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Not much walking at all. The map and number plaques on the ground make it easy to find the fossils and structures you're looking for. There's great fossils on the path before you ever hit the stairs. It didn't take long to see, is totally free, and was a highlight of a long road trip. Very highly recommended.
you can actually find a bunch more fossils in the loose rocks over by the dam spillway...from the parking lot head toward the water then follow the road left towards the dam....look at the rocks to the right of the road (when facing the dam)
This was a neat experience, but you had to really search for the fossils. There are places "marked"; however, the map showing what the marked areas represent is up near the parking lot. So, take a picture of the map with your phone, so you know what you're looking at.
A fun stop to take a break from i-80 and walk around a bit. The fossil gorge is neat, but I'm not really into fossils so I enjoyed hiking around it more than looking for fossils. The river at the end of the gorge is really pretty and there were a lot of people fishing. Drive to the top of the dam for a cool view on the way out.
Trilobites, brachiopods, favocites, oh my! Follow the prehistoric trail to find many hidden treasures. Fulfill your inner paleontologist on this worth while adventure.
If you are interested in fossils or are in need of a small activity to stretch your legs this is the place for you! I have a broken kneecap and am on crutches and I was able to carefully make it down and still enjoy myself throughly. The map didn't seem to accurate but I had a fun time trying to find them! The Devonian Fossil Gorge is one of those sites that you can spend as little or as much time as you want and still have a memorable experience.
Open your eyes and look close. Every inch of this gorge is covered in fossils. Nice lil walk through the gorge that is bordered by a peaceful fish filled river. Nice stop off the highway, definitely recommended if you need to stretch your legs.
Cool Beens K&S
If you are nearby, stop. But do not go out of your way. I didn't feel like it was well maintained nor was it as easy to "see" the fossils as one might think. Our kids had more fun listening to the frogs and watching the fish in the pools of water that have collected on the site.
Nice little stop if you're in the area or you're looking to picnic, but don't come to see fossils, the gorge only houses bits of broken shell and small, unidentifiable ocean creatures. The drive out is nice, however.
Great place to take a break from the drive, stretch those legs out & see some of the wonders of geology. I noticed both kids and adults easily and excitably finding fossils. It took us a little effort to find the actual location but once we did we really enjoyed it.
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Devonian Fossil Gorge
- Sun - Sat: 6:00 am - 10:00 pm
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No Public Restrooms