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Zion National Park announced it will host a series of special activities and events on October 11th in celebration of National Fossil Day.

The events will provide opportunities for people of all ages to learn about paleontology both inside and outside of the park.

“We are thrilled to provide interactive and educational paleontology programming for our visitors,” said Park Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh. “Zion preserves over 200 million years of natural history, and we look forward to sharing some of these amazing stories about ancient life in our region.”

Activities will include visiting booths with real fossils, attending ranger-led talks about dinosaurs, earning a junior paleontologist badge, and collecting a passport to paleontology. Guests can speak with rangers and dinosaur experts to learn about some of the oldest inhabitants of Southern Utah.

The highlight of the day will be an evening program featuring noted paleontologist Andrew R.C. Milner. As site paleontologist and curator at the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm, Milner will discuss his recent work with the National Park Service and the future of paleontology research. The free program begins at 8pm in the Watchman Campground Amphitheater.

A full schedule of National Fossil Day events at Zion includes:

  • Paleo on the Plaza from 10am to 4pm at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. This all-day event will feature booths showcasing current paleontology research, fossils, activities, and crafts. Families can pick up a Junior Ranger Paleontologist activity book and earn a badge.
  • Paleo Patio Talks at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. In these 20-minute talks, experts will discuss the geology and paleontology of Zion and the surrounding area.
  • Evening Guest Speaker program with Andrew R.C. Milner at 8pm in the Watchman Amphitheater.

Zion National Park preserves over 200 million years of natural history across rock layers dating from the Permian to Cretaceous periods. These rocks record ancient environments ranging from shallow seas to desert sand dunes. The fossils found in the park provide glimpses into the diverse life that once inhabited these landscapes.

Park officials noted the fossil day events were made possible thanks to partnerships with organizations like the Zion Forever Project, St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site, and other national parks and monuments throughout the region.

For more details, visit the Zion National Park website or contact the visitor information center at (435) 772-3256.

Cover photo courtesy of: Gracy Lilly, National Park Service

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