If you are near the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I highly recommend visiting Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. Every time my parents (Kamden’s YaYa and Grandaddy) are here, I like to plan at least one fun, out-of-the-box excursion. Last week, we drove to Glen Rose, about 35 miles southwest of Joshua and experienced Fossil Rim.
Though we are members of the Fort Worth Zoo and it’s an incredible facility, seeing animals in small spaces makes me sad. One thing that impresses me the most about Fossil Rim is its size: more than 1,000 acres of natural habitat for 50 species. There are fences to divide the property into sections and cattle-guard crossings for vehicles to safely pass, but the animals are otherwise free to roam. Another perk to Fossil Rim is the ability to explore the property in the confines of your personal vehicle (or you can pay extra for a guided tour and ride in a safari-type wagon). I love this picture of my Dad capturing a zebra just inches away! (You are welcome to feed the animals but strictly prohibited from touching them, except the giraffes.)
Admission to Fossil Rim is pricey. For one child, one adult, two seniors, and a bag of pellet food, it cost $77 and that included reduced prices for seniors and a discount for our electrical coop membership. Thankfully, Fossil Rim is a non-profit conservatory and every purchase goes toward protecting endangered species, training and education, wildlife management, and breeding programs.
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is dedicated to the conservation of species in peril, conducting scientific research, training of professionals, responsible management of natural resources and public education. Through these activities, we provide a diversity of compelling learning experiences that inspire positive change in the way people think, feel and act towards nature.
During the vehicle tour, Kamden stayed in his car seat and saw most of the animals. They are comfortable with humans and expect food. Some animals are more curious than others – this red deer came right up to my driver’s window and posed so I could take this picture. Then he walked around the vehicle looking for a snack!
Planning Your Visit to Fossil Rim
I’m fortunate to have friends who volunteer at Fossil Rim or have a membership, so I have a few tricks for planning a visit:
- Avoid the crowds during holidays or Spring Break.
- Avoid going in the summer when it’s reaaaally hot.
- Arrive early in the morning or late afternoon.
- Enjoy a break midway through the tour at The Overlook Cafe, Children’s Animal Center (with petting zoo!), and be sure to pick up a souvenir in the Nature Store.
- Anticipate spending at least 2-3 hours in the park.
- Do NOT feed the animals, except the giraffes!
- Stay in your car and drive slow, don’t exceed 15mph.
We had a really spectacular time at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. Kamden was disappointed he didn’t get to see the giraffes, but they were inside a barn when we drove by and on the opposite side of the enclosure when we saw them again. The Overlook provided a much-needed break with clean bathrooms and a cafe. If you have seen my refrigerator, then you know I purchased a magnet in the gift shop! We opted to skip the petting zoo. In all, we were inside Fossil Rim about 2.5 hours and, honestly, that was plenty.
Fossil Rim is definitely a place we will visit again. When Kamden is older, we will visit Dinosaur World, also in Glen Rose.