Museum of the Rockies, nestled in Bozeman’s college town, covers over 500 million years of history and is home to the nation’s largest collection of remains of dinosaurs, including a thigh bone of a T. rex that involves soft-tissue residues and the largest discovered skull of Tyrannosaurus. The collections of the Smithsonian-affiliated museum include over 300,000 objects.
MOR is one of the world’s best paleontology museums. Dr. Jack Horner, a leading paleontologist, is the man behind the great paleontology collection of the museum. For more than 30 years, he has written and made several discoveries, published many books, proposed highly debated and interesting theories, helped established one of the world’s best dinosaur museums, and worked as a consultant to all of the films of Jurassic Park.
The museum offers numerous highlights and it is ground zero for analysis on two of the most archetypal dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops. Montana is an ideal place to discover dinosaurs and the late Cretaceous period’s Hell Creek formation that is uncovered in the state has produced an extensive assemble of fossils that include these two dinosaurs’ numerous specimens. Both have astonishing display exhibits at the Museum of the Rockies.
Another highlight of the museum is the popular sculpture of Big Mike which is displayed at the entrance of the museum for years. The Tyrannosaurus Wankel Rex mold has since been lent to the Smithsonian by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and became the centerpiece of the restored National Museum of Natural Science in 2019.
The star of the exhibit space of the museum is unquestionably the Montana rex, one of its newest additions, a fairly complete and large Tyrannosaurus rex that was initially displayed at the museum in 2015. The impressive fossil intentionally reveals the skeleton parts that were created from alternative examples and were recovered fossils that complete the skeleton.
As presented in the display, the recovered fossils are shown in natural brown while the created casts are in white. In addition to the amazing Tyrannosaurus exhibit, the Triceratops exhibit displays the impressive skull growth series which indicated the remarkable changes at the varying life stages of the Triceratops.
The museum doesn’t only center on paleontology despite being a world-class dinosaur museum. It also focuses on and values Native American history and Montana history. MOR features a fascinating living history farm that represented Montana’s homesteading era with a blacksmith shop and an authentic garden of the 1890s.
Museum of the Rockies is only around 80 miles northwest of the Yellowstone National Park’s northern entrance. The museum is a must-visit for visitors of Yellowstone and dinosaur enthusiasts. Making this Bozeman side trip is highly recommended and you will surely not be disappointed. MOR pleases visitors and members greatly with around the world’s changing exhibits, natural and cultural history exhibits, educational camps and programs, planetarium shows, a museum store, insightful lectures, and benefit events.
Primary Exhibits Include:
• Siebel Dinosaur Complex
• Living History Farm
• The Vikings Begin
• Welcome to Yellowstone Country
• Enduring People
• Big Mike, the magnificent life-size bronze sculpture of Tyrannosaurus rex which was created from the fossil bones mold of the MOR 555 or Wankel T. rex.
• Paugh History Hall
• Explore Yellowstone
• Taylor Planetarium, spectacular cosmos views
• Taste of the Rockies
• Evening at the Museum
• Haunted Mountain Theater/Chilling Campfire Tours
600 W Kagy Blvd, Bozeman, MT 59717
Hours change per season. Please check the website for the museum’s current hours.