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Rainbow Basin
This was once a lush marshland that was the home of many prehistoric creatures. Miocene horses, camels, mastodons, saber tooth cats and even extinct insects once thrived in this area. Today it is a beautiful geologic wonderland filled with nearly every color of the rainbow. The area has visible faults, interesting rock formations, plunge pools, mud caves, hogbacks and of course fossils. Many fossil remains found in Rainbow Basin are on display in the San Bernadino and Los Angeles museums. So many fossil records were discovered that the geologists have named the Barstovian Stage as the period of time that these unusual animals, who’s ancestors now live in Africa and have been extinct in north America for a very long time, lived in North America. Many fossil remains are visible today, including leaves in shoreline ripples, mud cracks, and even a critter or two. If you are lucky enough to see any of these things, please view them and leave them for the next visitor. Much of the site has been ransacked and many of the records are gone forever. There is no real trail to walk, but there is something that may spark your interest around every turn. There is a scenic loop drive and a primitive campsite. Remember to bring lots of drinking water.

Getting There-
Las Vegas to Rainbow Basin

Take I-15 south to "Old Hwy 58" west. Take 58 to Ft. Erwin Rd north (right at stop sign). Take Ft Erwin Rd to Fossil Bed Rd west (left at Rainbow Basin sign on gravel road) Take Fossil Bed Rd to Rainbow Basin Rd north (right).

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Last revised:March 10, 2004

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