we're ready for you

Fossil Rim has REOPENED!

As the country begins to return to "normal," Fossil Rim was thrilled to announce when we reopened on May 11. To proceed responsibly, we decided on a multiphased opening, so please refer back to this page for the latest updates.

During our 52 days of closure, our staff continued to care for the 1,100-plus animals that call Fossil Rim home. Thanks to all who helped support Fossil Rim during that time - both financially and through the hundreds of well-wishes we received. 

What Is Now Different?

Please note that in order to provide an enjoyable and safe experience for our guests, our staff, and our animals, there are several important changes to our normal admissions and operating procedures.

Tickets

All tickets to Fossil Rim (including self-drive tours) must be purchased online prior to arriving at the facility.

MEMBERS CAN STILL VISIT FOR FREE, BUT CHECK-IN FOR MEMBERS MUST BE DONE AT THE ADMISSION OFFICE UPON ARRIVAL.

When purchasing tickets, you will choose your desired day and two-hour arrival window. Your ticket will be valid for that day and arrival window only. You may arrive anytime during your scheduled arrival window and take as long as you like within Fossil Rim.

PLEASE USE ANY WEB BROWSER OTHER THAN INTERNET EXPLORER TO RESERVE YOUR TICKETS - IT WILL NOT WORK.

At this time, there are no guided tours available. Self-drive tours are the only available option. We hope to resume guided tours in the near future.

Some Facilities Remain Closed

As part of a multiphase reopening plan, the following park amenities are currently still closed: Children's Animal Center and indoor public restrooms.

Porta-Potties are available in parking lots at the Front Gate and Overlook. There are two wheelchair accessible Porta-Potties at the entrance and one at the halfway point.

Face Coverings Recommended

In order to maintain maximum safety for our guests and staff, please wear a cloth face covering when you exit your vehicle for any reason.

FAQs

Are you open?

YES! We are open to the public, but will only offer guests the opportunity to drive through the pastures in their own vehicles. Guests can visit the Overlook Cafe and Nature Store in a modified manner. In the future, we plan to reopen other aspects of Fossil Rim like guided tours, the Children’s Animal Center, education programs, and lodging in a staggered and/or modified manner.

What are your hours?

We are continuing with normal operating hours – open every day at 8:30 a.m., last vehicle in by 4:30 p.m., and last vehicle out by 6:30 p.m.

How long does it typically take to drive through the park?

It takes approximately two hours. The busier we are that day, the longer it will take. You can get out of your vehicle roughly halfway through at the Overlook to stretch and use the restroom. Please wear your cloth face covering when out of your vehicle. The paved route has two lanes and you can pull over on the right side whenever you want to stop at watch certain animals for a while.

Do guests pay by car or by person?

We are still charging per person. That means admission for the 7.2-mile Gosdin Scenic Drive is $24.95 for guests age 12-61, $22.45 for guests age 62 or older, $19.95 for guests age 3-11, and guests below age three will be free.

Are discounts or refunds available?

No, not until further notice.

How can I purchase an admission ticket?

Until further notice, you can only gain admission to Fossil Rim by purchasing tickets in advance online. Go to fossilrim.org and click the TICKETS button at the top. All guests will have to select the day of their visit and a window of time in which they will arrive. The four time windows are: 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. / 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. / 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. / 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

MEMBERS CAN STILL VISIT FOR FREE, BUT CHECK-IN FOR MEMBERS MUST BE DONE AT THE ADMISSION OFFICE UPON ARRIVAL.

PLEASE USE ANY WEB BROWSER OTHER THAN INTERNET EXPLORER TO RESERVE YOUR TICKETS - IT WILL NOT WORK.

Do you accept cash payments for admission?

We do not accept cash payments for admission because tickets are purchased online.

Why do I have to select my time of arrival?

We are trying to prevent long lines of vehicles and lines at the restrooms, so we are spreading out the visitors over the course of each day.

What is your PPE (mask) policy?

For the protection of our staff and visitors, guests we ask you to wear a cloth face covering anytime you get out of you vehicle for any reason.

Will I be able to use the restroom?

There will be Porta-Potties at the Front Gate area and at the Overlook area.

These are not typical scary, stinky, unkempt, "festival-like" Porta-Potties that you might be envisioning. We have multiple units so that they aren't being overused and they are all six feet apart. They are being cleaned at minimum hourly with the CDC-recommended cleaning protocols. There is also a mounted hand sanitizer in each unit.

After logistical and health conversations, it was determined that our restroom facilities were going to be a point of major congestion and potential contamination, so this would be a safer alternative.

How do I present my prepurchased admission ticket once I arrive at Fossil Rim?

Pull into the entrance for the Gosdin Scenic Drive at the far right of the parking lot. You will either show your ticket on your smartphone that arrived via a confirmation email, or you will need to have printed the ticket out at home and bring the paper copy. You must present your ticket to be scanned to gain admission. We will check to make sure your ticket matches the amount of people in the vehicle. You will receive your animal feed, Species ID Guide, and the road rules after your ticket is scanned.

MEMBERS CAN STILL VISIT FOR FREE, BUT CHECK-IN FOR MEMBERS MUST BE DONE AT THE ADMISSION OFFICE UPON ARRIVAL.

What can I buy once I’m at Fossil Rim?

Nothing at the Admission Center when you come through the Front Gate. You will need to bring your own food, beverages, and coolers. For the safety of the animals, you may not bring glass bottles, alcoholic beverages, or plastic straws.

However, once you get to the Overlook - roughly halfway through the Gosdin Scenic Drive, you can buy food and drinks at the Overlook Cafe, as well as get souvenirs at the Nature Store.

What can I do at the Overlook area?

You can use the Porta-Potties and the handwashing station, or walk around in the parking lot to stretch your legs. You can also visit the Overlook Cafe and the Nature Store in a modified manner.

Can I go to the Overlook Cafe?

Yes. The cafe is open with a limited to-go menu; that menu is available at the Front Gate. All orders are served to-go and you can sit at any of our picnic tables or in your vehicle. Canned drinks or bottled water and chips will be served with all sandwiches. Due to social distancing, we cannot open the inside seating area or the observation deck. There will be one entrance and one exit. We ask that you please respect our social distancing policy so the café can remain open. We are sanitizing several times a day. Our employees are trained on how to properly sanitize, they will wash hands for at least 20 seconds and will wear gloves and masks. The Overlook area still cannot be accessed without going through the park, so you can only go to the cafe during the middle of your visit. We appreciate your patience during these trying times.

Can I go to the Nature Store?

Yes. The Nature Store allows up to 30 guests at any time. We ask that you stay with your group and please follow our social distancing policy. We cannot refund or exchange any merchandise during this time for safety reasons. We are sanitizing on a regular basis. Our staff is wearing masks and have been trained on proper handwashing. Unfortunately, our restrooms are closed for now. We do have Porta-Potties available at the Overlook that are sanitized on a regular basis. We have missed you and are so glad to have you back. Stop by and see all the new and unique products available inside our Nature Store. The Overlook area still cannot be accessed without going through the park, so you can only go to the store during the middle of your visit. Please know that there are smiles behind all of our masks!

What are you doing to keep staff and guests safe?

In addition to staff and guests wearing cloth face coverings, there will be handwashing stations and hand sanitizer dispensers. Social distancing practices – six feet apart from other people – will also be enforced.

Are the animals safe?

Yes, but it is important to remember to throw the pelleted feed onto the ground. Do not hand-feed or pet the animals.

How are members affected by these changes?

MEMBERS CAN STILL VISIT FOR FREE, BUT CHECK-IN FOR MEMBERS MUST BE DONE AT THE ADMISSION OFFICE UPON ARRIVAL.

They will not be able to use discounts. Anyone who purchased a membership on or before March 20 has received two extra months to cover the time we were closed.

As a member, can I still get two bags of feed?

No, our animal health staff is limiting everyone to one bag of feed. However, that one bag is currently free.

Can I bring my dog or other pet?

No.

Can I see the giraffe calves or cheetah cubs?

The giraffe calves may potentially be close to the road in the Game Preserve on good weather days, but keep in mind it is 266 acres and they could be anywhere. The cheetah cubs are not currently visible on the tour route. Follow us on social media for updates on these and all of our animals.

What if I need help when I’m in the park?

If you have car trouble or something of that nature, you can flag down one of our staff members. Please fill up your gas tank when you are picking up your food and beverages before arriving at Fossil Rim.

Can I drive my Jeep / motorcycle / RV through Fossil Rim?

Vehicles with “soft doors,” “tube doors,” or doors removed, such as Jeeps, will not be allowed to enter the park. It’s a safety issue. It is okay to take the top off of your Jeep to visit Fossil Rim. You can't take your motorcycle through Fossil Rim, but once our guided tours return, we'd love for you to arrive on your motorcycle and take a guided tour. RVs at a length of 30 feet or less will be permitted to drive through Fossil Rim.

If coronavirus remains a threat in Texas, why have you reopened?

Executive Director Kelley Snodgrass talked with the county judge and many other local residents regarding the support for Fossil Rim reopening prior to this decision. We eliminated gathering spots at the Overlook, plus we reduced touchpoints at the Front Gate area and have made every effort to ensure guest visits are as safe as possible. We appreciate your support and your cooperation for these new rules during this unprecedented time.