Ancient impressions captured in stone….
Fifty million years ago, during the Eocene Epoch, the area now occupied by Republic, Washington lay beneath the waters of an ancient lake. As the lake bed filled with volcanic ash and sediment, leaves, flowers, fish, and insects were trapped in the layers of resulting mud.
Today the lake is gone, along with the unusual mix of topography and climate that produced plants and animals that haven’t been found together in any other location.
Located in an unassuming roadcut along Knob Hill Road, the Boot Hill Fossil Site* provides paleontologists and amateur fossil hunters alike the unprecedented opportunity of discovering world class examples of Eocene plant life such as leaves belonging to the rose family, birch family, maple family, and redwood family.
As with fishing and gambling, it’s possible you could go home empty handed, but it’s more likely you’ll find a number of beautiful, delicate fossil specimens that you’ll be proud to display in your home.
You may rent tools from the Interpretive Center, or bring your own. You’ll want a hammer (geologist or bricklayer variety), a thin chisel, and a container to hold the fossils you uncover.
Boot Hill Fossil Site Facilities
The on-site facilities consist of portable toilets and a shaded picnic table. You’ll be spending lots of time in the sun, so remember to bring a sun hat, suntan lotion, and water. If you have a pair of garden kneepads, you may want to bring them along.
Hours of Operation
See Stonerose’s official Web page.
The Stonerose Interpretive Center is located on North Kean Street in Republic, Washington, just across the street from the city park. The Boot Hill Fossil Site is a .2 miles walk or drive from the Interpretive Center.
Stonerose Interpretive Center
Catherine Brown, Director of the Stonerose Interpretive Center
15-1 N. Kean Street
Republic, WA 99166
- Stories in Stone Read From Ancient Leaves, The Smithsonian, June 1999
- See a full page photo of Stonerose’s Florissantia Quilchenensis in the June, 2002 issue of the National Geographic.
- Burke Museum article about Stonerose.
- Seattle Times article about Stonerose
FerryCounty.com wishes to thank Catherine Brown (and previously Lisa Barksdale) for granting us permission to take photographs inside the Stonerose Interpretive Center.
*The Boot Hill Fossil Site is owned by the Friends of Stonerose Fossils, a non-profit organization.