01/29/2013 07:24 am ET

Jurassic Parks: Where To Find America's Fossils (PHOTOS)

Dinosaurs, mammoths and sea monsters will never cease to capture the public imagination precisely because they only exist in that imagination. Thanks to a few waves of extinctions and the scientific hurdles to creating something like Jurassic Park, we'll never see these beasts. The closest we can come to witnessing their majesty may well be witnessing the majest of their remains in the context of the landscapes they once ruled.

There are a few hotspots around the world well known for being full of dinosaur bones: Drumheller in Alberta is thick with hadrosaur remains, Patagonia is well known for the Gigantosaurus as well as the Argentinosaurus and Mongolia is becoming a destination for fossil seekers. Still, America remains a world leader in the long-dead animal department, boasting numerous parks where visitors can play paleontologist.

As part of the Smithsonian's new Evotourism campaign -- an attempt to spark interest in natural history tourism -- the magazine searched America to find the best of the surprisingly numerous dino-centric parks. They unearthed some obscure attractions idea for anyone looking to get some dirt on Cetaceous.

Bring your own chisel.



U.S. Destinations For Fossil Hunters