Driving your car through a wildlife preserve in Glen Rose Texas, experiencing exotic animal sights and sounds, is a one-of-a-kind adventure. Fossil Rim Wildlife Center sits on 1,800 acres, which is plenty of grazing and roaming for the 1,100 animals, including 50-plus species, under their care. We love wildlife encounters, so this as a great opportunity for our family to create more memories together.
Driving Through the Wildlife Center
A variety of tours are offered at Fossil Rim. We chose the self-guided drive-through tour, which should take about two hours to complete. As the 7.2 miles of roads wind through beautiful scenery, we found ourselves excitedly anticipating what creatures we would encounter around the next bend.
We were given one bag of animal feed (one bag per car rule) to split among our family. We carefully rationed the number of pellets thrown at the different stops so it would last the whole journey.
The animal identification guide we picked up earlier, helped us pinpoint the different animals we encountered. The guide gave a brief description of their species and Identified their origin.
At the halfway marker of our journey, we stopped at the Overlook. It’s the only place you’re allowed to get out of your car on the self-guided tour. They had a substantially sized gift shop, restrooms, a cafe, and the Children’s Animal Center. We took the opportunity to stretch our legs and explore.
Children’s Animal Center
The Children’s Animal Center is a free to the public learning center located at the Overlook. When you first enter the facility, you find yourself inside a large room with clean animal pens, several tables set with educational displays, and goats roaming around.
Outside of the main room, you step into your standard “petting zoo” with various goats and sheep wandering freely to pet and brush.
Some of the animals located inside the Children’s Animal Center are goats, sheep, cockatoos and macaws, pot-bellied pigs, emus, and tortoises. New animals are added all the time, so you never know what to expect.
At the Overlook, just behind the Nature Store, is a long balcony overlooking the beautiful scenery of Fossil Rim. Taking time here to enjoy our surroundings added a different perspective to our visit.
Finishing the Drive Through
It was near the end of June when we visited, and those Texas summers are hot! By midday, most of the animals had taken shelter underneath the clusters of trees to escape the heat of the sizzling sun.
We saw giraffes approaching some of the cars to hand feed while we were afar off. However, by the time we arrived at the giraffe area, they had retreated to the shade, far from the road.
If traveling during the hotter months, try to arrive early to have the best chance of a close encounter.
Some areas are only accessible on a guided tour because of the sensitive nature of the animals. These animals include Maned wolves, Black-footed cats, Gray wolves, Red wolves, Brown-Nosed Coati, Grevy’ Zebras, and Southern Black Rhinos. From our self-guided tour, we could see Rhinos off in the distance, which we identified as Southern White Rhinos.
Our family had a wonderful experience at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center and were pleased to know that all purchases made supported the future care of these animals. Fossil Rim is also an accredited member of numerous conservation organizations worldwide, working collaboratively to better ensure adequate numbers of genetically viable individuals within a given species. Learn more at FossilRim.org.
- Purchase tickets online at least three days in advance if booking a private tour.
- Self-guided drive through tickets are purchased at the admissions counter.
- Take a car with a hatchback or truck bed to open up and have extra viewing.
- Sunblock and bug spray is needed while visiting the Overlook.
- Binoculars would be a fun addition.
- Fossil Rim also offers overnight lodging! Sounds fun for our next visit.