America's Best History Spotlight

On this page we're going to Spotlight the lesser known historic sites and attractions that dot the history landscape across the USA and are worth a visit if you're in their area. And while they may be lesser known, some are very unique, and will be that rare find. You'll be, at times, on the ground floor, or maybe even know something others don't. It'll be fun. Visit them.

Columbian Mammoth

Waco Mammoth National Monument, Texas

Still a relatively new site, designated a national monument by President Obama on July 10, 2015, but the significance of its finding from a paleontological standpoint is huge. Twenty-four Columbian Mammoths have been discovered in this area around Waco, Texas. Yes, Waco has other history, bad, and good; Dr. Pepper was invented there. But for this site, you'll be witness to the actual dig areas where the mammmoths are still being found. And if you've got kids, this may be as close as you can get to a real dinosaur discovery, mammoth style. Image above: Drawing of the Columbian Mammoth, 1909, Charles R. Knight. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons.

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Info, What's There Now, History Nearby

Female Columbian Mammoth

Waco Mammoth NM, Texas

Yes, during the Ice Age, a family herd of Columbian Mammoths roamed these Texas woods of oak, mesquite and cedar, and plains of tall grass prairie. Today, you can visit one of the only open dig sites that will show you the breath and huge size of the prehistoric creatures outside of a museum setting. A male mammoth would have stood up to fourteen feet high. Twenty-four adults and juvenile Columbian mammoths have been found at this site.

Image above: The dig site of the female Columbian Mammoth still being unearthed inside the dig tent, 2013, Larry D. Moore. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons, license CC BY-SA 3.0. Below: Remains of a Bull Mammoth Q and two juveniles. T & R. Juvenile T was buried 68,000 years ago, 2013, Larry D. Moore. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons, license CC BY-SA 3.0.

Waco Mammoth National Monument

Where Is It

Waco Mammoth National Monument is located at 6220 Steinbeck Bend Drive, Waco, TX 76708. Waco itself is located in the north-central section of the state, one hundred and eight-five miles northwest of Houston, and just under one hundred miles south of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

What is There Now

Waco Mammoth National Monument

At Waco Mammoth, you can expect to see the Dig Shelter, but first stop in the Welcome Center to get orientation, a guided tour, exhibits, and tickets to the tour. There is a picnic area and amphitheater on grounds, about one hundred acres, and if you want to just take a walk, the Bosque River is at its southernmost border.

When Open and How Much

The monument is open daily from 9:00 to 5:00 with all areas free except visiting inside the Dig Shelter which incurs a separate fee. $5 adults; $4 students 7th grade through college, $3 students younger than 7th grade. Other discounts apply.

Fees subject to change.

Waco Mammoth National Monument

History Nearby

It's wide open Texas, home to sites about the Texas Revolution at the Alamo, San Jacinto, or the Battle of Goliad, its other missions, open spaces like Big Bend, Lake Roosevelt, and Big Thicket, and the Spindletop oil discovery. Whatever your brand of tourism or history is about, you're bound to find it in the state. But be warned, the state is so large, some of them are pretty far away from each other.

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