Dinosaurs & Archaeology

Some of the richest fossil beds and prehistoric sites are to be found throughout the Real America region. From footprints to bones to complete dinosaur skeletons, visitors can experience the distant paleontological treasures or dig for fossils themselves.

The Montana Dinosaur Trail

Montana offers spectacular “hands on” archaeological, paleontological, and geological experiences. Can you dig it? (Yes in fact, you can, and we’ve got the folks to help you do it safely and legally. Visit ancient archaeological sites like First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park or explore one of the finest palaeontology collections in North America at Museum of the Rockies.

The Montana Dinosaur Trail: 14 stops along the Montana Dinosaur Trail allow you to discover Montana’s paleontological treasures for yourself. With opportunities to see one- of- a- kind specimens, like “Leonardo” the mummy Brachylophosaur, to actually learning how to dig for fossils, you can follow the trail for dinosaur adventure. For more information visit www.VisitMT.com

Prehistoric North Dakota

Millions of years before North Dakota was a state, prehistoric creatures were living out their legendary adventure. Today, visitors can explore fossil-bearing sites ranging in age from 30 years to 73 million years. Literally get your hands dirty excavating prehistoric sites through an education vacation and fossil dig. One-day and week-long adventures are available. For more information visit www.NDTourism.com

Fossils of South Dakota

Thousands of years of evidence of prehistoric humans and animals are spread across the state of South Dakota and scientists are working to find and preserve that evidence.
Some of the richest fossil beds and archaeological remnants are located in South Dakota, with a variety of museums and dig sites offering the opportunity to witness and experience the thrill of discovering evidence of times past.

This thrill is best represented by the unearthing of “Sue,” the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex that has ever been discovered. “Sue” was found near Faith, South Dakota, in 1990. The fossil’s permanent home is at The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois. There, “Sue” continues to be studied by scientists and seen by the public.

Additionally, an array of evidence of prehistoric animals and societies has been discovered across the state. Visitors are welcome to visit dig sites and museums to learn more about archaeology and palaeontology in South Dakota. For more information visit www.TravelSouthDakota.com

Wyoming- Rich in Fossil Records

Long before fishermen, cowboys and even bison walked across Wyoming, the state was the stomping ground of countless dinosaurs. With an official state dinosaur — the triceratops — as well as a state fossil, Wyoming is thought to have one of the richest fossil records in the nation. Become awestruck by gargantuan dinosaur bones, mammal fossils and fossil footprints. Study fossils of extinct marine animals and learn about the time when a vast ocean covered Wyoming. Watch palaeontologists unearth and examine delicate dinosaur bones — or even dig one up yourself.

Begin your tour of Wyoming’s prehistoric past in Thermopolis with a trip to the Wyoming Dinosaur Center. See 20 phenomenal full-size skeletons, learn from 200 interpretive exhibits and watch lab technicians prepare recently discovered fossils. The centre operates several active dig sites in the scenic hills nearby, where children and adults can play palaeontologist for a day by helping dig for bones. You can also get your hands dirty in the Glenrock Paleontological Museum laboratory.

You’ll find several other prehistoric relics as you wander around Wyoming. Visit the Green River Formation at Fossil Butte National Monument to see a massive collection of fossilized fish as well as fossils of a 13-foot crocodile and the world’s oldest-known bat.  Walk the Cotton Creek Dinosaur Trail in Alcova to view fossils in their natural settings. Compare your shoes to the footprints of Jurassic-era giants outside Shell at the Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite. Or, if you really want to be among the ancients, visit Medicine Bow’s Fossil Cabin Museum, an unusual structure made out of more than 5,000 dinosaur bones. For more information visit www.TravelWyoming.com