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The Great Plains Dinosaur Museum (GPDM) is located in the rich land mass of Northern Montana where some the world’s most preeminent dinosaur fossils have been discovered.  A site and member of the Montana Dinosaur Trail, GPDM maintains permanent exhibits of dinosaurs and other prehistoric fossils to advance the visitors experience, allowing them to appreciate, enjoy and fully understand the rich prehistory  of this region.  The Museum also provides the rare opportunity for both youth and adults to explore, dig and excavate fossils with their staff and paleontologist partners in scheduled educational and dig programs.

The Great Plains Dinosaur Museum (GPDM) is governed and operated by volunteer board members of the Judith River Foundation, Inc.   The Foundation is an IRS exempt 510c3 non-profit corporation established in 2002.  The GPDM is not a municipal entity, is not affiliated with any higher education institutions, receives no general tax support, and is entirely self-funded through membership fees, admissions, dig and tour revenue and fundraising.

GPDM is guided by a mission to curate and prepare paleontological resources for use in educational programs, scientific research and interpretive displays in support of the advancement of knowledge and the benefit of all people.

405 North 1st St East | Malta, Montana (406) 654-5300 [email protected]
Dino Dig Programs

Dig Dinosaurs and Explore Montana

New & Improved 2024 Dino Dig Packages:
Dig Dinosaurs & Explore Montana with our Paleontologist.
June 23-29th (only 2 more registrations available for June dig), July 14-20th and/or August 4-10, 2024

Our five-day program includes an intensive 3 day dig with our Director of Paleontology, Harris Boekenheide in the Little Snowy Mountains near Grass Range, Montana, on a Sauropod site, and an additional 2 day adventure in Malta and Phillips County. You can choose from several options:

Three Day Field Dig – $675/person

Lab & Exploration Add-On Days – $200/day/person

Full 5 Day Dino Dig Week – $1000 (save $75!)

NOTE: There are no refunds on deposits for any reason unless minimum 6 person requirement is not met for each week. If you cancel, you will lose your deposit. Read full details below.

This year, we will again return to our dinosaur quarry in the Little Snowy Mountains. Approximately 150-million-years old, the bones we’re finding come from sauropod (long-necked) dinosaurs that lived in the world-famous Morrison Formation during the Late Jurassic Period. The Morrison Formation was home to some of our most famous and iconic dinosaurs like the sauropods Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Diplodocus, & Camarasaurus; the plated and spiky-tailed Stegosaurus; and the meat-eating Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus.

While the Morrison Formation is really well known in western states like Utah and Colorado, it is poorly understood here in Montana; and such northern exposures are practically unknown. We are the only museum working in the Morrison Formation here, so help us make and preserve new scientific discoveries!

We will also offer two additional days to head north to the Malta and Phillips County region and the rich Judith Formation where we will learn and explore.

To learn more about or sign up for this truly unique paleontological opportunity in Montana, please email us at [email protected] or call  (406) 654-5300.

Dino Dig Details

Packages Include:

  • Lunch each day
  • Digging equipment
  • Short haul transit to and from dig site back to Grass Range. (or to and from Malta MT for Days 4 & 5)
  • intensive 3 day dig with our Director of Paleontology, Harris Boekenheide in the Little Snowy Mountains and two optional days of exploration of Malta, Montana & Phillips County!

Not included. Attendees Must Provide/Arrange:

  • Transportation to and from Grass Range, MT for the Dig Days, and to and from Malta, MT for optional Days 4 & 5.
  • Lodging (We can provide recommendations, shared rentals, and camping is also an option.)
  • Meals & Snacks other than Lunch
  • Personal Items (proper footwear, clothing, sunscreen, bug spray, water bottles, etc.) See complete list here.

Policies, Cancellations & Deposits:

  • Participants must be age 12 or older and able to hike short distances on rough terrain and sit on the ground.
  • All youths (under 18) must be accompanied by an appointed guardian and standard fees apply for each.
  • A 30-day advance registration (from your preferred dig date) with a $200 deposit is required for all dig participants.
  • If the minimum requirement of 6 participants for each week is not met, you will be notified, and deposit will be returned.
  • Full payment must be made 10 days before first dig date.
  • Fees are not refundable for your cancellation or inability to participate. You will forfeit your deposit. We will only refund deposits if a minimum of 6 attendees do not register.
  • Please reserve your spot ASAP as space is limited.

Note: Is your child younger than 12? Please go to the Museum’s “Junior Paleontologist Program.”

For reservations and more information, please email us at [email protected] or leave us a message at (406) 654-5300.

(our former Director of Paleontology, Dr. Cary Woodruff, with pedal (foot) bones from a Tyrannosaurus found during our 2018 Hell Creek Formation dig)

Draft Itinerary:

Sunday – later afternoon arrival, meet and greet with instructions 7PM – Grass Range, Montana.  Location to be announced.

Monday thru Wednesday – dig site Grass Range, finish up Wednesday, lunch (Sandwich Sack Lunches and beverages only provided each day.  Breakfast and evening meal – on your own.

Thursday – morning travel to Malta, lunch on your own.   1PM guided GPDM tour.  3-7PM transportation provided to north Malta properties and designated BLM sites.  Walk the hills and terrain learning about formations and characteristics of this fossil rich region – and keep a look out for fossils.   Return Malta, 7:30PM no host supper with local interests (optional)

Friday – early start education and hands on fossil prep program.  Onsite GPDM primitive outback prep lab.  Lunch provided, adjourn @ 2PM.

Recommended Gear for the Dino Digs in Montana:

  • small back pack or tote bag
  • refillable water bottle
  • hat
  • neck scarf
  • light weight clothing
  • good boots or hiking shoes (caution with canvas shoes: there is cactus!)
  • sunscreen
  • bug spray
  • camera
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