Greater Yellowstone Adventure Exhibits at the Draper Natural History Museum
Draper Natural History Museum exhibits focus on the ecology and natural history of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Collectively, the Draper Museum exhibit galleries are presented as the “Greater Yellowstone Adventure,” which includes three, large, interconnected and immersive galleries: Expedition Trailhead, Alpine-to-Plains Trail, and Seasons of Discovery. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and even smells of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in our highly interactive exhibits. Around every corner is a new discovery.
Pick up your Adventure passport at the Trailhead Bulletin Board, and stamp it at six stations on your Greater Yellowstone Adventure. At the Trailhead, explore two rustic cabins housing a naturalist’s study and a field station classroom.
The Naturalist’s Study is home to our resident naturalist, B.A. Ware. In it, discover how and why people explore nature, and learn some of the “tools of the trade.”
In the Field Station Classroom, learn about the dramatic geological processes that continue to shape the Greater Yellowstone region. A mural-sized map, computer stations and pull-out drawers let you explore the process and products of landscape formation.
Where the Expedition Trailhead ends, your journey along the Alpine-to-Plains Trail begins. Winding through a 90-foot-tall grand rotunda topped with a changing Yellowstone sky, you will descend along a gently sloping path through Alpine, Mountain Forest, Mountain Meadow, and Plains/Basin environment exhibits. Each environment includes the sights, sounds, and smells you might encounter in a hike through the same environment in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
From the top of the grand rotunda, you overlook a colorful tile mosaic map of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Measuring thirty feet in diameter, the mosaic provides a rare perspective of one of the most dramatic landscapes on Earth. Once you descend to the bottom, you can walk over the map and trace the route of your travels, or have your family or friends photograph you from the top as a unique record of your travels.
Seasons of Discovery
Near the end of the Alpine-to-Plains Trail, you will encounter a passageway into Seasons of Discovery. The visitor experience is a bit different here than in the Expedition Trailhead or Alpine-to-Plains Trail. Organized around the theme of the four seasons in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Seasons of Discovery is filled with fun, interactive presentation spaces and interactive experiences. Peer through microscopes and spotting scopes, try on a bison robe, or peek into a black bear’s den.
This gallery includes an exploration station where staff, teachers, docents, or naturalists-in-residence lead hands-on paths of discovery. Enjoy the Campfire Circle in Seasons of Discovery and a chance encounter with a storyteller; or get comfortable in cushioned seating areas and peruse the books, videos, and other resource materials available.
Please note that Seasons of Discovery is currently undergoing a facelift to introduce new activities in the exhibit. Some sections of Seasons of Discovery may not be available during your visit.
Discovery Laboratory: Public Viewing of the Draper Museum’s Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Specimen Preparation Laboratory, Research Center, and Classroom
This is a working laboratory, where staff and volunteers prepare specimens and digital collections for research, exhibits, and educational programs. Take a peek to find out what happens behind the scenes of a natural history museum.
The lab is open seasonally for public tours.
John Bunker Sands Photography Gallery
This venue features changing photography exhibitions on natural and cultural history topics related to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the American West.