Drive-O-Saurus Rex - Page 2
|The Great Wide Open: One of Montana's Landscaped Highways (PhotoDisc)|
Days 2-3: Thermopolis to Glendive, MT (415 Miles)
You'll drive just over 400 miles from Thermopolis to Glendive via Wyoming 789 and I-94, almost to the North Dakota border. Dinosaurs apparently liked Montana. There are so many dino sites that the state has its own Dinosaur Trail (mtdinotrail.org). Makoshika Dinosaur Museum (406.377.1637; www.makoshika.com) and Makoshika State Park are two interesting stops on the Trail. Makoshika, in case you're wondering, is Sioux for bad earth or bad lands. The museum has fossils and artifacts from around the world. In addition to its exhibits, which are mostly from the late Cretaceous period, there's a working prep lab, and there are plans to start a Paleokids Program for kids interested in dinosaur digs. Makoshika State Park (406.377.6256; www.makoshika.com) is Montana's largest state park, with juniper-studded badlands holding the fossil remains of tyrannosaurus and triceratops. The Visitor Center has a complete triceratops skull on display, along with exhibits interpreting the site's geologic, fossil, and prehistoric significance. The park has good hiking, birdwatching, and a campground accommodating tents and RVs.
Day 4: Glendive to Fort Peck (140 Miles)
It's just a three-hour drive to the Fort Peck Field Station of Paleontology and Fort Peck Interpretive Center and Museum (406.526.3539; www.pecksrex.com; open May through October), reached via Montana 200 and 24. The Interpretive Center and Museum opened in 2004 and is the home of Peck's Rex, one of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons ever found. The exhibit hall displays a full-size cast skeleton of Peck's Rex along with other dinos. Fort Peck Paleontology, Inc., and Dinosaur Field Station are working field stations as well as the fossil repository for the state of Montana. There are also about a dozen Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds (406.526.3411) in the area, particularly in the Recreation Area around 134-mile-long Fort Peck Lake—one of Montana's largest and the fifth largest man-made lake in the United States—and the dam, the largest public works project in the nation when it was built in the 1930s and 1940s. Overnight in a Recreation Area campground, including some right by the dam, like Downstream Campground (406.526.3411; open May through October).