Arizona January 15, 2018
8 Breathtaking Places Where You Can Discover Arizona’s Prehistoric World
When traveling through Arizona, you’ll find no shortage of historic finds around the state. You’ll find abandoned towns, ancient cliff dwellings and plenty of historic towns. But did you know our state is also teeming with prehistoric finds as well? While prehistoric can mean anything prior to written history, for this article, we’re defining it as artifacts and fossils that date back at least 5,000 years. Let’s take a look!
1. Arizona Museum of Natural History, Mesa
We’re starting this list with Arizona’s best natural history museum that showcases the state’s long history. Here, you’ll find displays that feature dinosaurs, insight into Arizona’s ancient history, and a chance to practice your paleontologist skills!
2. Dinosaur Tracks, Tuba City
Sitting just outside of Tuba City is a collection of real dinosaur tracks that date back about 200 million years! You’ll see a variety of different footprints when visiting but take some of the tour guide’s information with a grain of salt; not all of the fossils here are real.
3. Grand Canyon National Park
If geology is your jam, then you will love visiting most Arizona parks but the Grand Canyon is one of the best. The canyon walls show off layers upon layers of rock and you’ll even get to spot some fossils hiding here if you look closely. Be sure to also check out the interpretive trail to learn even more about the park.
4. Meteor Crater, Winslow
Back when giant sloths and mammoths were still roaming the earth, a meteor crashed into this area of Arizona just outside of Winslow. You won’t get to see the original meteor that caused such a massive hole—as most of it vaporized after impact—but you can spot a small piece in their visitor center.
5. Murray Springs Clovis Site, Sierra Vista
Southern Arizona is home to several buried mammoth kill sites that date back to 9000 BCE, including this one just outside Sierra Vista. The area hosts an interpretive trail that details history of the site and the items found here.
6. Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff
This is a nice gem hidden in Flagstaff and you will love checking out the geology gallery that highlights the extensive history of the Colorado Plateau dating back millions of years.
7. Petrified Forest National Park, Holbrook
This national park is home to some incredible sights and is one of the few places where you can easily stumble upon some old fossils. Petrified wood is the key find here but you might also get a chance to spot some invertebrate and marine fossils. Just remember to take only memories!
8. Red Mountain Trail, Flagstaff
This volcano erupted about 740,000 years ago and is the perfect example of what a volcano’s interior looks like. You’ll find some truly striking formations and even tiny crystals scattered around the site.
Want to check out more places that feature Arizona’s interesting (and more recent) history? Read more in our article,
You’ll Want To Visit These 10 Fascinating Places In Arizona Where Time Stands Still.