Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is located in Sioux County, Nebraska close to Harrison, NE. The National Monument encompasses a total area of about 11,600 acres of land consisting primarily of grass-covered plains. The main entrance to the park can be accessed by driving about 22 miles from Harrison, in the northwestern area of Nebraska and close to the Niobrara River.
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument was once a part of the Captain James Cook's Agate Springs Ranch, (a cattle ranch owned by the famous Capt. James Cook), before becoming authorized in 1965 and eventually being established as a National Monument on June 14, 1997.
Some of the features that this National Monument is meant to protect include well-preserved Miocene fossils most of which can be found at the Carnegie and University Hills dig sites. These fossils area about 20 million years old.
Besides these attractions, you can also get to enjoy other recreational activities including fishing, hiking, and ranger-led walks. The park has wide open spaces that are quite desolate, and you should, therefore, ensure that you adequately gas up your vehicle and stock up on snacks and water if you plan to spend your day at the park.
Food and gas stations can be between 35 and 50 miles apart. Some of the amenities within the National Monument include a museum/exhibit, picnic area, visitor center, self-guided trails, and restrooms. You can also get water for dogs in spigots beside water fountains in picnic areas next to the visitor center and museum.
Bringing your dog into the National Monument is permitted as long as you observe the managements strict rules. Some of the rules that you must follow include ensuring that your pooch is always in a secured enclosure or on a leash that is six feet in length.
You also have to ensure that you clean up after your dog and you respect the National Monument resources and visitors. Some of the areas that you can take your dog include the grassy area north of the visitor center and around the museum parking lot. Be alert for signs of restrictions for dogs and avoid those areas when you have your furbaby with you.