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Iowa City, Iowa: Devonian Fossil Gorge

No actual dinosaurs, but lots of fossilized sea life on this outdoor ocean floor that you can walk on. Exposed after recent floods. Official and free.

2850 Prairie du Chien Rd NE, Iowa City, IA
I-80 exit 244. Turn north onto N. Dubuque St. Drive 2.5 miles. Turn right at the Coralville Lake sign onto W. Overlook Rd NE. Drive one mile. Turn right at the two stop signs onto Prairie du Chien Rd NE. Drive a quarter-mile. Turn right at the Fossil Gorge sign.
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Visitor Tips and News About Devonian Fossil Gorge

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Devonian Fossil Gorge

At the start of the gorge area there are maps with information, and these are extremely helpful! The map shows where you can find 20 small gray hexagon markers on the ground in the gorge, called "discovery points." At each point the map/brochure will give you a helpful description of what you are seeing. Without the brochure you would be just left wandering around on your own in one of the most incredible fossil places I've ever been to.

The brochures includes info for an audio tour, too! This place is well-organized and really amazed me.

[Adriana, 05/14/2021]

Fossil Gorge.

Devonian Fossil Gorge

Walk around and look for different numbered plaques. They represent what the fossils are. You can call a number and learn about each one or use one the pamphlets they have on site.

[Bianca Giron, 11/15/2019]

The Gorge appeared after the Iowa River floods of 1993 and 2008. Water washed away tons of soil, huge trees, and part of a road, exposing a 375-million-year-old fossilized Devonian ocean floor. Now visitors can walk on the floor and see fossils at their feet. Until there's another flood.

Nearby Offbeat Places

World's Largest Wooden NickelWorld's Largest Wooden Nickel, Iowa City, IA - 2 mi.
Hamburg Inn: Booths of Reagan and ClintonHamburg Inn: Booths of Reagan and Clinton, Iowa City, IA - 4 mi.
Firefighter and 9/11 MemorialFirefighter and 9/11 Memorial, Coralville, IA - 3 mi.
In the region:
Nathan's Miles Glow Trail, Vinton, IA - 39 mi.

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