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Hands-On Paleontology: Excavating and Preserving Mammoths in the Black Hills

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Road Scholar
Program #8925RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Experience a rare window into the past discovering some of the most well-preserved, undisturbed mammoth fossils the world has ever known — femurs and fibulas, skulls and tusks, backbones and pelvises — at the renowned Mammoth Site in the southern Black Hills. The late paleontologist Dr. Larry Agenbroad, who studied the site for four decades, said, "The Mammoth Site is truly a gift from nature, our inheritance held in trust for over 26,000 years." Scientists estimate that more than 100 mammoths wandered into this ancient Ice Age sinkhole, and now you can study them for yourself, based in the friendly hamlet of Hot Springs.


• Learn how to excavate, record and preserve fossil material with the help of expert bone-bed and laboratory curators, geologists and paleontologists.
• Travel back in time as you explore the world-renowned Mammoth Site and experience the hands-on thrill of working on an active paleontological dig site.
• Visit three of America’s iconic wonders: Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Monument and Custer State Park.

Program Notes

Participants will be required to sign a waiver before beginning work at The Mammoth Site bone bed and lab.
Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.

Activity Notes

Must be able to stand, bend, kneel and handle a small container of sediment while excavating in the bone bed (indoors) and participating in lab work (indoors). If you have physical limitations, the staff will help you find a location within the bone bed and lab that will work for you.

Date Notes
This program includes a one day excursion to Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, Custer State Park, and Wind Cave National Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota. 9/20/2015
This program includes a one day excursion to the annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup, Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Monument.

Coordinated by South Dakota and Regional Traveling Studies.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
5 Expert-led lectures
10 Hands-on experiences


Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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