What will we see at your site?
In our Dig Shelter, you will see the in situ, sub-fossil remains of six Columbian mammoths and a few other Ice Age animals. Please support our preservation mission, as access to the fossil bed inside the Dig Shelter is by ticket only. Fee applies.
Are you handicapped-accessible?
Yes. Our full facility is accessible via wheelchair and motorized scooter. If a member of your party needs assistance making the 300-yard walk, we have a wheelchair available to borrow at no cost.
Can we dig at your site?
No. Our fossils are protected inside a National Monument. Personal collecting is prohibited. If you would like to experience excavating replica fossils, enjoy our Big Dig experience!
Is this inside or outside?
Both. About 10-15 minutes of your tour will take place outdoors. The remainder of your tour will take place in our climate-controlled Dig Shelter.
Guided and self-guided tours are available (fee applies).
Are these dinosaur bones?
No. Dinosaurs went extinct over 65 million years ago. The Waco Mammoths were in Waco approximately 65 thousand years ago.
Does my National Park Pass get me in for free?
National Parks passes apply to gate fees at parks, and the Waco Mammoth National Monument does not charge a gate fee. If you want to see the fossils inside the Dig Shelter, you will need to purchase a ticket for a guided or self-guided tour. Fees apply to both guided and self-guided tours. Parks passes do not apply to interpretive tour fees, and the back of the card states this. Please support Waco Mammoth National Monument's preservation mission, as access to our in situ fossil remains inside our Dig Shelter is by interpretive fee ticket only for the safety of the fossils.
What else is there to do at your site?
The Waco Mammoth National Monument has rustic nature trails, a wonderful gift shop and shaded picnic areas that you may visit anytime during park hours.
Do you have a restroom?
Yes. Our Welcome Center has air-conditioned restrooms open during park hours.
Can we eat at the park?
Yes. Feel free to bring your own food and drinks to enjoy in our shaded picnic areas anytime during regular park hours. Food and drink are not allowed inside the Dig Shelter, which covers the fossil site.
How many school kids can you handle at once?
We love large groups! Groups of 100+ are not unusual. We do ask that large groups enter the Dig Shelter in smaller, periodic groups to prevent crowding. Please schedule large groups at the NPS education reservation page.
Are your school activities TEKS-aligned?
Yes. See our Education Page for more details.
What is a Columbian mammoth?
- Columbian mammoths (Mammuthus columbi) lived during the Pleistocene Epoch (2.5 million years to 10,000 years ago).
- The Columbian mammoth was one of the largest mammals to have lived during the Pleistocene Epoch. Other animals that lived during this time included giant ground sloths, short-faced bears and giant beavers.
- The Columbian mammoth is a relative of the Woolly mammoth, but Woolly mammoths stayed farther north in much colder regions.
- Columbian mammoths grew to more than 14 feet in height and weighed up to 10 tons (20,000 lbs). They stood 2 to 4 feet taller and weighed up to 8,000 pounds more than Woolly mammoths.
- A mammoth’s tooth could be as large as a four-pound shoe box. Mammoths had six sets of teeth during their lifetime, which could span up to 75 years.
- The mammoth’s tusks were modified incisor teeth. The tusks grew as long as 16 feet and weighed up to 200 pounds each.
- Mammoths spent up to 20 hours a day eating 300 to 700 pounds of grass and large fruits. As a result, mammoths produced around 400 pounds of dung a day.
- Columbian mammoths walked on their tiptoes. An internal, sponge-like pad behind the bones of their feet cushioned their immense weight.