Blackwater Draw National Historic Site

Blackwater Draw National Historic Site, Portales: Hours, Address, Blackwater Draw National Historic Site Reviews: 4/5

Blackwater Draw National Historic Site

Blackwater Draw National Historic Site
4
Natural History Museums
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Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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About
National Historic Landmark...can view active archeological digs
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The area
Address
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Attractions
1 within 6 miles
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
34 reviews
Excellent
19
Very good
9
Average
2
Poor
3
Terrible
1

Joy L
Dallas, TX2 contributions
Couples
Blackwater Draw is where Clovis Points were discovered with bones of mammoths &ancient bison. Established time-frame of humans in continent. Museum is small and super! Real Bones, tusks of mammoths, etc. Seasonal schedules, closed winters. Interpretive signs along hike need refurbishing. Do NOT wear Sandals due to goats' head stickers.
Written October 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

spacepilot500
Roswell, NM645 contributions
Solo
If you are looking for a lot of flash, and your mind is on vacation you may be bored. If you want to learn about our past, and have (or think you might have) any interest in archaeology, you'll enjoy Blackwater draw. There are two parts, a museum, and the dig site, located a few miles from the museum. Your $3 admission ($2 students, seniors) is good at both sites. You should tour the museum first, for an overview. It seems a little dry, reminding me of a typical 1950 museum. However the archaeology site is very interesting, and more than makes up for it. There are additional displays here, and a walking trail that will give you a feel for what it is like to be on a dig. Besides being a historical site, it is a working research site. They are currently working on long term climate research. The combined rating is based on the archaeological site being a 4, and museum a 2. However I found the overview gained from the museum helpful in appreciating the archaeological site.
Written July 23, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

klaskro
Midland, TX84 contributions
This is a significant site in the history of American archeology that advanced our scientific knowledge of man's presence in North America. There are actually two parts to the Draw. There's a museum by the football stadium--and it's OLD, MUSTY, and confusing, Though there's some good information here, you have to ferret it out yourself. ENMU should, in my opinion, clear this place out and start over with clearer presentation of the artifacts. The site itself, however, is pretty awesome. This is where archeologists actually dug, and still dig, finding bones of mammoths, prehistoric bison, etc. You can walk a couple mile path with interesting markers throughout. Best of all--and see THIS if nothing else--is a building covering an active "bone bed" where artifacts are still being exposed and recovered. Pretty awesome. My 10 year old loved it. Modest admission fee paid at either the museum or the site covers both.
Written August 21, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nancy D
Augusta, Georgia, United States170 contributions
Couples
First of all I use a roller walker and I was able to get into the visitor center which has lots to see and talk to the person on duty. Paid 2 bucks admission senior rate. Save your receipt and get into the museum on campus for free. There is a dirt trail which does have rocks to navigate. Some uphill and downhill walking. I had no issues pushing my rolling walker. I made the hike up to an interpretive building. It was worth it. Using my cane I traversed a path up another hill to look into the glass door of an a frame small building which covers a well. This is the first well ever discovered dating back to 12700 years old. Viewing this area really gave me a sense of prehistory. You can see the area that was a major watering spot for animals and humans. You can understand why humans kept coming here to get water, kills animals for meat and skin, and leave behind stone tools. The oldest layer dates to 12700 yrs ago which is clovis points. Then other younger layers reflect other cultures. This site is still yielding valuable information after 80 plus years after a teenager found a stone tool in 1929 and sent it to the smithsonian. Come here first. I did not walk the 1 mile trail. I wanted to but decided I had hiked enough to grasp the flavor of the history.
Written July 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lorenzo B
17 contributions
Couples
An inactive archeology site where you can walk the site and view the findings without interruption at your own speed. For a small fee you can walk the trail around the site and self-guide yourself through the digs, visit the well, and view a unique site without crowds. Clovis, Folsom, Portales, etc. age relics are on display as they found them in a covered pavilion. You must visit the Blackwater Draw Museum after taking the field trip at the dig site.
Written August 21, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Janet L
Saint Louis, MO609 contributions
Couples
The exhibits compare mastodons with mammoths and other extinct large mammals. Also you can get a better understanding of early weapons, the difference between clovis and fulsome points.

The museum is open year round--check website for details. The dig site would be awesome to visit, but is not available during the winter.

They are going to open an enlarged museum on the university campus, once again watch website.
Written February 27, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

hillbillyholler89
Houston, TX4 contributions
Friends
I am thoroughly disgusted with Blackwater Draw Locality No. 1. The "visitor center" is a rather small house-like structure with one main room. There aren't any authentic artifacts from the archaeological site on display. There are a few bones on display. I was quite disappointed that there weren't any dinosaur bones. The bathrooms are very small and look like they haven't been cleaned in ages. If you are really interested in souvenirs you can buy an overpriced t-shirt with an image of a Clovis Point on it.

The "main attraction" is an "ongoing" excavation that is housed by a sheet metal structure. If you've never seen a "bonebed" before, it might seem interesting. But if you're just passing through, it's not really worth seeing. A bonebed is basically just a pile of bones. It is presumed that these bones were left by humans during butchering activities thousands of years ago. Be aware that the building is not air conditioned.

After you have seen the bonebed, you will continue on what I would call a nature trail... There are a few signs on the trail but they don't really give you any useful information. When you get done with the trail you will probably be wishing you had not paid the admission fee.

You can call ahead and ask the site archaeologist for a guided tour. Our group had the guided tour with a Mr. George Crawford. Let's just say he is an unpleasant individual. I wish we had just taken a self-guided tour. That's about all I have to say for the BWD site. The BWD Museum on Highway 70 is about as bad as the site.

In my humble opinion, save your three dollars and spend it on gasoline.
Written July 27, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

tomorrowsantiques
Mesa, AZ1,151 contributions
Couples
We drove through Portales and skipped the in town museum because reviews said this was better. Prior to Memorial Day, it is only open on weekends, so we went away disappointed.
Written May 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

HotCanary
Springfield, MO39 contributions
Solo
I have a history degree and am familiar with the Clovis points and peoples, but for some reason did not connect it to this area. (I was also pretty tired from a lot of camping and travel.) Happened to stay at a nearby state park campground and it was suggested by other travelers. I drove up and luckily, they were expecting other guests so I was able to join their tour, directed by the project manager. I was astounded and honestly, "geeked out," historically speaking, over what I was seeing. In a trip of over two weeks seeing the geological wonders of southern UT/CO and several Ancestral Puebloan sites, this was the icing on the cake. I only wish I'd had time to visit the museum in Portales as well.
Written May 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

OHOverlandParkKS
Overland Park, KS74 contributions
Family
We went here not knowing anything about the area. There are a great deal of local artifacts and education regrading the local indigenous peoples. We had ages 19-70 and all found this site interesting!
Written May 23, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Blackwater Draw National Historic Site

Blackwater Draw National Historic Site is open:
  • Sat - Sun 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM