Cabezon Creek WSA, NM
Railroad Valley Oil Well, Battle Mountain NV Antelope in New Mexico Arrow-leaf balsam root in Montana Wind Turbine Fire Management Officer in Eugene, OR
National Fossil Day
Education in BLM>Learning Landscapes>In the Spotlight>National Fossil Day 2011
Print Page

Celebrate National Fossil Day 2011: Prehistoric Trackways National Monument

“The trackways at the Prehistoric Trackways National Monument rewrote scientific understanding of Permian footprints. They represent an instant in time almost 300 million years ago, and you can look at it and understand how animals were behaving.”

Dr. Spencer Lucas
Curator of Paleontology
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

Scenic view of PTNM

In the mid-1980s Jerry MacDonald, an amateur paleontologist, brought national recognition to the Robledo Mountains when he found long, intact fossilized trackways. These trackways belong to the Permian Period (280-240 million years ago) tens of millions of years before the dinosaurs. The Permian Period was at the end of the Paleozoic Era (circa 550 -240 million years ago).

Jerry MacDonald

Under the supervision of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, MacDonald excavated thousands of these trackways from what is now known as the Discovery Site. The majority of the over 2500 slabs removed in the excavation comprises “The Jerry MacDonald Paleozoic Trackways Collection” at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.   Learn More >>

Discover More



National Fossil Day - A celebration of Prehistoric life

The Bureau of Land Management is partnering with the National Park Service (NPS) , the American Geological Institute (AGI) , and other Federal and state agencies, associations, and organizations to hold the second annual National Fossil Day on October 12, 2011

Visit Prehistoric Trackways National Monument

Trackways Photo

The Prehistoric Trackways National Monument was established in 2009 to conserve, protect, and enhance the unique and nationally important paleontological, scientific, educational, scenic, and recreational resources and values of the Robledo Mountains in southern New Mexico. The Monument includes a major deposit of Paleozoic Era fossilized footprint megatrackways within approximately 5,280 acres.

Interpretive Signs Hiking/Backpacking Horseback Riding Watchable Wildlife


Generally Open year-round.

Recreation Guidelines
BLM Recreation Guidelines

Special Rules
Motorized travel only on designated roads and trails.

Location Map
See Contact Information below to obtain maps or visit the Public Lands Information Center.

Contact Information
Las Cruces District Office
1800 Marquess Street
Las Cruces, NM  88005-3370