Amarillo, TX 79101
These quarries are old, prehistorically old. Ancient Native Americans settled here or at least gathered here to collect the Alibates flint. Later tribes (living from 1150 to 1500), specifically the Plains Village Indians would make their villages of rock-slab within this area. These ancestors of the Pawnee made houses of every size, from one to 100 rooms, houses of semi-circular rooms and funneled entranceways. They would depart the area in the late 15th century, but ruins remain, if visitors are rarely allowed to see them. If you swing by in October, though, you may be able to go on a special Ruin Tour.
What you can see are the quarry pits. Alibates flint is multi-colored and beautiful, but was most valuable for being shapeable into a sharp edge. The park is the only exposed source of it and there are 736 pits here, which can range in diameter from 5 to 20 feet. Over time (centuries, really), the open quarries have gradually filled with vegetation and dust and are thus not as deep as they once were.
Do note that all visits to Alibates Flint Quarries need to be arranged in advance, but tours are always free.
Hours + Fees
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument offer tours year-round by reservation only. Extreme weather conditions such as 100 degree temperatures, lightening, tornadoes, etc. may cause tours to be canceled on short notice. Reservations may be made by calling Park Headquarters at 806-857-3151 or writing the Superintendent, Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, P.O. Box 1460, Fritch, Texas 79036.
Map + Directions
Alibates Flint Quarries is located approximately 35 miles north of Amarillo, Texas. From I-40 in Amarillo, take the Lakeside exit north towards Lake Meredith National Recreation Area. Exit on TX 136 north towards Borger. Turn west from TX 136 onto Cas Johnson Road. Proceed approximately 3.2 miles to "Y" intersection and bear to the right. Go northwest approximately 1.9 miles to the Alibates Contact Station.