Chadron State College
Chadron State College


Miners prospect, or search for gems and precious metals. Paleontologists prospect for fossils. At Toadstool Park, we prospect by exploring the region on foot looking for bones and other signs of prehistoric life. On occasion, we dig superficially as part of prospecting.

climbing badlands

Prospecting in the badlands at Toadstool Park is both strenuous and exhilarating. Fossil turtles and mammals are often discovered high up on the airy walls of the canyons.


Successful prospecting leads to the excavation of a 38 million-year-old turtle.

Joe Corsini

Professor Joe Corsini rappels down to a fossil located on a cliff face.

On the map, Toadstool Geologic Park is only a few square miles in area. But the actual surface area to be prospected is much, much more than that. The park is rich with cliffs and crennelating canyons.

Grady Costello

Paleontology students, Grady Costello and Toni Smith, peer at a fossil turtle underneath the cliffs near Roundtop Butte.

Roundtop Butte

A twilight return from a hard day of prospecting in the ramparts near the Toadstool Park Campground.

twilight badlands