We packed a lot into our two days in Thermopolis. On the second day we played at the second water slide pools, checked out dinosaurs, and explored a little farther into Hot Springs State Park..
This is not some dinky, small town dinosaur museum–it’s really good. We went to see the Archaeopteryx fossil.
“Only 11 specimens of Archaeopteryx exist in the world today and The Thermopolis Specimen is second only to the ‘Berlin’ specimen in terms of completeness, including a well-preserved skull that for the first time gives scientists a top view of the head of Archaeopteryx. This scientific icon is the only one on display in North America.”
There is so much more to see than that, though. Many dino skeletons (both replica and actual fossils) fill a big hall. There are also pre-dinosaur displays and replica skulls you can touch.
My only regret is that I didn’t do a little more prep for our visit because we could have signed up for a dig. How fun would that be?
The Star Plunge is a little more updated than its next door neighbor, the Tepee Pools. It’s still funky, though. The outside water slide, which looks really fun, was closed because of pump problems the day we were there. The indoor slide was fast and fun. And we liked hanging out in the outdoor pool.
The Hot Springs State Bison Herd lives in Hot Springs State Park. We drove above the Star Plunge and explored the roads within the pasture.
The Hot Springs State Park herd averages more than 20 animals at the present time. The herd is free roaming within the boundaries of the pasture for the majority of the year. During the months of May and June the herd is confined to the Corral Area to aid the rejuvenation of the pasture. Edible plants are allowed to develop to the proper seed producing stage prior to allowing the animals free graze.
We stopped in a couple other places in the State Park to check out active and old hot springs.
See our first day’s adventures here.