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Collections Collections Within a Four-Hour Drive From Albuquerque

Blackwater Draw Museum, Portales, NM
The Blackwater Draw Museum was built in 1969 to house the artifacts excavated from the Clovis Site. Additionally, the museum is charged with the care of other collections, including the Miles Anthropological Collection and the Calvin Smith Collections.

Mesalands Dinosaur Museum and Natural Sciences Laboratory, Tucumcari, NM

The Exhibit Hall at the Mesalands Community College’s Dinosaur Museum houses a host of replicated and original fossils from tiny footprint casts to the 40′ long skeleton Torvosaurus, a rare carnivore relative of Tyrannosaurus rex which hails from the Jurassic period.

The Museum’s focus is on the Mesozoic period, which is also known as ‘The Age of Dinosaurs.’ The Mesozoic is comprised of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque, NM 
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science preserves and interprets the distinctive natural and scientific heritage of our state through extraordinary collections, research, exhibits and programs designed to ignite a passion for lifelong learning.

Paleozoic Trackways National Monument, Las Cruces, NM
The Prehistoric Trackways National Monument was established in 2009 to conserve, protect, and enhance the unique and nationally-important paleontological, scientific, educational, scenic, and recreational resources and values of the Robledo Mountains in southern New Mexico. The Monument includes a major deposit of Paleozoic Era fossilized footprint megatrackways within approximately 5,280 acres. 

The trackways contain footprints of numerous amphibians, reptiles, and insects (including previously unknown species), plants, and petrified wood dating back 280 million years, which collectively provide new opportunities to understand animal behaviors and environments from a time predating dinosaurs. The site contains one of the most scientifically-significant Early Permian track sites in the world.

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona, Holbrook, AZ      
Did you know that Petrified Forest is more spectacular than ever? While the park has all the wonders known for a century, there are many new adventures and discoveries to share. There are backcountry hikes into areas never open before such as Red Basin and little known areas like the Martha's Butte. There are new exhibits that bring the stories to life. Come rediscover Petrified Forest!

Ruth Hall Museum of Paleontology, Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM  
Ghost Ranch is the site of one of the best known paleontological digs in the Northern Hemisphere. Two little dinosaurs, discovered at Ghost Ranch decades apart, form the centerpiece of the research and exhibits at the Ruth Hall Museum of Paleontology. The bones of the Coelophysis (SEE-low-FY-sis), who roamed the ranch 220 million years ago, were discovered in 1947. Six decades later in 2009, the Tawa Hallae (ta-wa-hay-lee) discovery was reported in the December issue of Science. Also, another specimen of Vancleavea, new, very well preserved, articulated skeleton was discovered at Ghost Ranch. The paleontological dig at Ghost Ranch is known world-wide. Newly renovated exhibits also highlight the Triassic animals from 210 million years ago, including the recent discoveries of Tawa, a new species of small carnivorous dinosaur and Effigia, the archosaur species named okeeffeae (O’Keeffe’s Ghost).

Clayton Lake State Park, Clayton, NM
The park is an oasis in the rolling grasslands of northeastern New Mexico. Enjoy boating, picnicking, camping, fishing and hiking. Get a unique glimpse of the past when you explore one of the most extensive dinosaur trackways in North America and a close-up look at the stars at the Lake Observatory.

The Centennial Museum, University of Texas, El Paso   
The El Paso Centennial Museum was built to celebrate the anniversary of Texas independence, making it the oldest museum in El Paso. Permanent exhibits in the museum focus on the natural and cultural history of the Chihuahuan Desert region, the largest desert in North America, and the ties of friendship that exist between the University and Bhutan can be seen in its surroundings.

Las Cruces Museum of Nature and Science, Las Cruces, NM         
This museum is about looking and understanding—looking up to the stars, looking out to the desert, and looking down to see ancient fossils. There are three primary permanent exhibits: Desert Life, Permian Trackways, and Light & Space exhibits. All of the permanent exhibit text and labels are presented in both English and Spanish.

Farmington Museum, Farmingon, NM
Experience a wide variety of exhibits relating to the diverse history of the area’s cultures, traveling exhibits, and art shows. Lecture series, performances, workshops, and special demonstrations are offered year-round. The Museum store, “Currents,” features exhibit-related merchandise, books on local and regional interests, toys, and educational materials.