MAKOSHIKA Fun Facts

  • Makoshika became a Montana State Park in 1953

  • Catherine McCarty first proposed Makoshika as a park in 1939. McCarty donated a quarter section of land and her homestead cabin to Dawson County as a goodwill gesture to start the process; McCarty cabin still stands in the park.

  • Makoshika was offered to the federal government as Badlands National Park; the National Park Service punched a road in, assessed the land and ultimately declined the offer.

  • In 1889, a research associate of Professor Marsh rode a horse through the Makoshika badlands and recorded 500 triceratops skulls.

  • At 11,531 acres, Makoshika is Montana's largest state Park

  • Paleo Indian artifacts up to 12,000 years old are found in Makoshika; the stone point technology of that time period includes Clovis and Agate Basin point types.

  • Diane Gabriel, a paleontologist from the Museum of the Rockies, led the 1990-1991 expedition that uncovered the triceratops skull that graces the park visitor center's main display. The discovery was the motivation to build a visitor center in the park to better share the park's treasures with the public.

  • Jack Horner curator of paleontology (retired) at the museum of the Rockies in Bozeman and consultant for the Jurassic Park movies, is and admirer and frequent of Makoshika State Park and its significant fossil deposits.

  • Over ten species of dinosaurs have been found in Makoshika, mostly large herbivores from the end of the age of dinosaurs.

  • The K/T boundary is exposed in Makoshika's sediments. The K/T Boundary marks the mass extinction of dinosaurs and is the boundary between the Creataceous Period (the Age of Dinosaurs) and the Tertiary Period (the Age of Mammals).

  • The ecosystem of the Makoshika area during the time of the dinosaurs was humid, low-lying marshes and coastal plains, much like the state of Louisiana is today.

  • Sinkholes develop in the hillsides of Makoshika; some are large enough to swallow a bus.

  • A thescelosaur, a very rare species of dinosaur was discovered in Makoshika in 1997.