The Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, beginning July 1. To prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, public health measures will be in place.

The Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park near Royal will reopen to the public with limited hours and timed tickets beginning July 1. Additional restrictions will apply for the safety of visitors, staff and researchers.

Ashfall Fossil Beds will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. A limited number of tickets will be available beginning in the last half of each hour, with final tickets available at 3:30 p.m each day.

In addition, the following restrictions and rules will be in place:

> All visitors must acquire a ticket in advance. Tickets can be purchased at They are $7.50 for anyone 3 or older.

> Children under 3 are admitted free but must be registered for a free ticket to enter the park.

> Park entry is granted during the first 30 minutes of the time slot indicated on the ticket. Early access will not be allowed. Park entry is forfeited and the ticket is invalid after the 30-minute check-in time has elapsed. 

> A state park permit is required for any vehicle entering Ashfall Fossil Beds. They should be acquired in advance and are available at

Some changes in park amenities have also been made to promote visitor safety:

> All children’s dig and sandbox areas will remain closed until further notice. Interactive exhibits in the visitors’ center will also remain closed.

> The museum’s gift shop will operate with limited inventory and a view, not handle, purchase policy. Credit cards are the preferred payment option.

> The picnic pavilion will be rearranged to allow for social distancing. Limited capacity will be available for picnicking on site. Additional shade spots will be available throughout the park.

> Restrooms will be open.

> Water fountains will be inaccessible. However, bottled water will be available for purchase in the gift shop. Guests are encouraged to recycle bottles in provided canisters.

> Guests are encouraged to wear face coverings when on site. Disposable face masks will be available upon request. Donations to cover mask costs are appreciated.

> Guests are requested to adhere to social distancing practices and maintain 6 feet between themselves and other parties. Rhino footprints on walkways throughout the park will serve as distancing guides.

“Ashfall Fossil Beds is a unique, special place,” said Susan Weller, director of the University of Nebraska State Museum. “We are so happy to be able to safely reopen and share ongoing research at this ancient waterhole.”

Individuals or families with questions regarding Ashfall Fossil Beds and its new operating procedures may visit or call 402-839-2000.

Rhino footprints on park walkways will serve as distancing guides.