3.8
21 votes

Devonian Fossil Gorge

Coralville Lake, 2850 Prairie Du Chien Rd NE, Iowa City, Iowa 52240 USA

Free
Free to Visit
Closed Now
Opens Wed 6a
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
    Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
    Accessible
  • No Public
    Restrooms

“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.  

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Reviewed by
Amanda_Smith

  • 5 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
March 29, 2015
Rated 5.0

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.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
5Jeeps

  • 6 Reviews
  • 6 Helpful
December 05, 2016

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)

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
kmgrinnell

  • 6 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
July 22, 2016
Rated 2.0

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.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
madelineodell

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
December 11, 2017
Rated 5.0

Trilobites, brachiopods, favocites, oh my! Follow the prehistoric trail to find many hidden treasures. Fulfill your inner paleontologist on this worth while adventure.

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Reviewed by
alwayswanderlusting

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
August 18, 2017
Rated 5.0

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.

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Reviewed by
sambeen

  • 4 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
July 26, 2017
Rated 4.0

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.
Enjoy,
Cool Beens K&S

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Reviewed by
Misty

  • 11 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
July 05, 2017
Rated 2.0

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.

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Reviewed by
heyshilohhh

  • 7 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
September 15, 2016
Rated 3.0

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.

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Reviewed by
yeyonama

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
July 30, 2016
Rated 4.0

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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Reviewed by
Evee Moroz

  • 8 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
October 09, 2015
Rated 5.0

Great stop along the road, it took some searching but found it. Great campsite also sits adjecent to this little hidden gem.

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Devonian Fossil Gorge

Coralville Lake, 2850 Prairie Du Chien Rd NE
Iowa City, Iowa
52240 USA

Hours

Closed Now
  • Sun - Sat: 6:00 am - 10:00 pm

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  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • No Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
  • No Wifi
  • Private Parking
  • Free Parking
  • Yes Parking

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