About 14,300 years ago, the massive Bonneville flood carved a deep valley through what is now southeastern Idaho. The raging water ripped into the earth and scattered massive boulders called “melon gravel” across the landscape.
The flood exposed a thick layer of sedimentary rock that contains the fossilized remains of 220 different animals and plants. Among the fossils, scientists unearthed 30 complete skeletons of “Hagerman Horses,” a distant ancestor of the horses we ride today.
The wide variety and exceptional condition of the fossils at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument make this one of the world’s most important fossil sites.
In the visitor center, you’ll see replicas of these remarkable fossils up close, and learn more about the Hagerman Horses. The site also encompasses part of the Oregon National Historic Trail, the route used by settlers on their way to Oregon and California.