Stop 5: Invertebrate Burrows

A finger points to a vertical burrow in the sandstone.
Invertebrate burrows can be seen in the sandstone and ash lens at this location.

NPS/Eric Grunwald

Quick Facts
41.836495, -103.697778

Scenic View/Photo Spot

About 75 feet down the trail from the concrete steps is an exposure of laminated volcanic ash lens up to 20 inches thick. Excellent samples of a number of different types of invertebrate burrows are present in the ash and in adjacent sandstones. These burrows are cylindrical, smooth walled, and generally non-branching. They have been interpreted by geologists to have been made by insects, possibly beetles. 

Here we have seen an example of one way that living creatures have altered the geology of Scotts Bluff. At our next stop on the tour we will see another area that geolgists interpret as having been altered by living organisms. To get to the next stop on the tour, head down the trail to the major bend. Once you get to the north side of the major bend, look at the rock to the left of the trail. 

Scotts Bluff National Monument

Last updated: October 5, 2020