Diggin’ Dinosaurs in North Dakota

A Jurassic journey with eight stops

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It’s said North Dakota once was a tropical paradise complete with giant lakes and the giant fish that used to swim in them. There is proof that other giants used to roam North Dakota in prehistoric times and they are being uncovered all the time. Dinosaurs literally left their footprints all over this state and their skeletons now figure prominently in many museums. Take a dinosaur tour and bone up on our very own Jurassic park.

State Museum at the North Dakota Heritage Center

Fossil exhibits here trace the history of life in North Dakota from about 90 million years ago to present day. View the Corridor of Time and learn about North Dakota’s prehistoric background through exhibits like Dakota the Dino-Mummy, the Mosasaur exhibit, a Paleocene Era pond exhibit, and extinct mastodon and bison skulls. Bismarck

Paul Broste Rock Museum

One of North Dakota’s most unique and interesting museums is named for a farmer who had an inordinate fondness for rocks, minerals and fossils. Broste amassed a huge collection over many years and built a museum out of field stone to house his collection. Parshall

Three Affiliated Tribes Museum

See the cast of the skull of the giant bison, Bison latifrons, at this heritage center built to preserve history and culture of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara people. The original skull was found along the shore of Lake Sakakawea. New Town

Long X Visitors Center

While excavating a prehistoric crocodile remains, a huge, beautifully preserved petrified tree stump was discovered still in growth position. After the rock was removed from around the stump it was determined to be nine feet in diameter and eight feet tall – the largest petrified tree stump ever seen in North Dakota. Watford City

Dakota Dinosaur Museum

North Dakota’s dino gem houses 11 full-scale dinosaurs, including a real skeleton of a Triceratops. View a complete triceratops skull in the museum’s model lab and rare minerals and rocks from around the world. Dickinson

Dakota Prairie Grasslands, Medora Ranger District Office

Sixty-million-year-old crocodile remains from the famous Wannagan Creek fossil site on U.S. Forest Service administered land near Medora are featured in this small exhibit in the Medora Ranger District Office in Dickinson.

North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame

The museum debunks the myth that horses did not inhabit North America until they were introduced by the Spaniards during the early days of conquest. See for yourself and view the skeleton of the 30-million-year-old horse, Mesohippus, proving horses are indigenous to North America. Medora

Pioneer Trails Regional Museum and Paleontology Department

This regional research and repository for history from within 100 miles of Bowman is active in archaeological and paleontological research and houses preservation collections relating to North Dakota history. The museum also showcases local artists and traveling displays and sponsors guest speakers. Bowman

This itinerary is compliments of North Dakota Tourism.

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