Frequently Asked Questions

Waco Mammoth National Monument

What will we see at your site?

In our dig shelter, you will see the in situ, sub-fossil remains of 6 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 guided tour 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 wheelchairs available, and our tour guides can carry up to three people in a golf cart if necessary.

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 with our staff members, call (254) 750-7946 to inquire about tickets for our "Big Dig Class"!

Is this inside or outside?

About 10-15 minutes of your guided tour will take place outdoors.  The remaining 20-30 minutes of your tour will take place in our climate controlled Dig Shelter.

Are these dinosaur bones?

No.  Dinosaurs went extinct over 65 million years ago.  The Waco Mammoths were here approximately 65 thousand years ago.

Does my National Park pass get me in for free?

National Parks passes apply to gate fees at parks; the Waco Mammoth National Monument does not charge a gate fee.  If you want to see the fossils, you will need to go with a park ranger on a guided tour. Fees apply to tours at Waco Mammoth. Parks passes do not apply to guided 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 guided tour only for the safety of the fossils.

What else is there to do at your site?

The Waco Mammoth National Monument has a wonderful gift shop and shaded picnic area that you may visit anytime during park hours. Come dig for free in our mock dig pit: see Big Dig Class.  Pre-reserved tour groups may also choose to add additional educational activities to your park experience.

Do you have a restroom?

Yes.  Our Welcome Center has air conditioned facilties open during park hours.

Can our kids eat at the park?

Yes.  Feel free to bring your own food and drinks to enjoy in our shaded picnic area before or after your scheduled program.  Food and drink is not allowed inside the Dig Shelter.

How many kids can you handle at once?

We love large groups! Groups of 100+ are not unusual.  We can use multiple staff members to subdivide your group into several smaller groups so everyone gets to experience our programs equally.

Are your School tour and activities TEKS aligned?

Yes.  Our basic tour and add-on activites are TEKS aligned.  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.