Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park Austin
Where is it at?
Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park
National Forest Develop Road
Tel: 775 964-2440
Where are we going today?
It's safe to say nearly everyone has heard about those creatures called the dinosaurs, as well as other pre-historic species that lived on our planet millions and millions of years ago.
But do you know what actually lived on the very ground you are standing on? That's where Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park comes in! This amazing Nevada natural wonder is a fascinating and historic day out for all ages - it's great when you can go away having learnt something too!
Did you know that Berlin was actually a turn of the century mining town? Now, in it's state of preserved decay, it's a fascinating visit for families. There is a trail right through the town where you can hear the stories of Berlin, as well as it's mine.
Mining began all the way back in 1863 (that's a pretty long time ago!) when a small group of prospectors actually discovered silver. Over the next few years it was home to around 250 people who all tried to make their fortune and create a living. By 1911 it was all over, and became one of Nevada's true ghost towns.
If you are curious about some of the former residents, just head for the town's cemetary where most of them still lie!
Then, we get to the fossils! The Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park was established to protect what is the country's most abundant concentration of ichthyosaur fossils. These ancient marine reptiles swam in the oceans over 225 million years ago. But how did they end up in Nevada we hear you ask? Easy - back then, Nevada was covered by ocean!
With self-guided tours around Berlin town, camping and mine tours, there is certainly a lot of historic fun to be had at Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park!
How much does it cost?
- Adults$7 to $12 entry per day
- ChildrenSame as adult
When can we go?
Fossil tours 10am - 2pm seasonally.
Mine and fossil tours May to September. Berlin town all year round
Why not bring the students for the day! It's living history, and makes a change from the classroom! Give them a call to see what the options are .
There are picnic sites so why not bring your own food and enjoy a lovely healthy lunch with the family around history! .
Make sure you take bottled water because it can get hot in Nevada!.
Any Top Tips?
If you want to stay longer, there are 14 unite for RVs with fire fings and drinking water (mid April to October). .
Doing our bit
They have really preserved history at this state park! They take great care to look after the fossils, and preserve this amazing piece of history. .
Need a little extra help?
If you have special needs, give them a call to see what accessibility there is .
Can I get one of those?
There is a visitor center where you can pick up some goodies.
The town tour is self guided, but there are seasonal tours around the fossil shelter and diana mine. .
What people are saying?
by Jeff Gates
the lack of water only draw back.very cool I will be back
by Hank Pazoga
Long drive but the mining exhibit and hiking trails were interesting. Disappointed that the fossil is only accessible a few minutes a day if you hit either the 10AM or 2PM tour start times. We arrived at the center at 2:05 and it was locked and deserted. Although another party was also interested, the rangers weren't receptive to unlocking the exhibit off their posted schedule.
by Marianne Porter
It's a ghost town and an abandoned gold mine and a fabulous fossil/paleontology site. Knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff. Well worth the trip to get there.
by Matt Ronda