2345 Searl Parkway
Hemet, CA 92543
phone: 951-791-0033
fax: 951-791-0032
Tuesday - Sunday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

$8/adults, $6.50/seniors, $6.50/students with current I.D. $6 5-12, Free for kids 4 and under.
Museum Type(s)
Dr. Richard Giese, Museum Director
Dr. Paisley Cato, Assistant Director
Chris Hansen, Museum Educator
Merci Von Furstenberg, Business Manager
Joyce Simanek, Retail Manager
Sue Tatosian, Event Coordinator


The Western Center for Archaeology & Paleontology is dedicated to the preservation, curation, interpretation, and presentation of archaeological and paleontological artifacts and fossils.

The Western Center provides educational, research, and service opportunities to the general public and to students, faculty and staff from learning institutions as a means of advancing knowledge and understanding of the environmental history, cultural heritage and the importance of water to life in the region.

The Western Center provides a repository for archaeological and paleontological materials and the documentation of cultural and natural histories from this region. Campus facilities and professional expertise are focused to extract maximum knowledge from these materials, advance the understanding of our collective past and to provide a scientific foundation in planning for our future.


The Western Center originated from the need to preserve, protect, and interpret, for public benefit, the paleontological, archaeological, historical, and natural history collections generated during the construction of the reservoir at Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet. At that time, this was the largest earthen project in America's history. The treasures revealed there were astonishing and included nearly 1,000,000 archaeological and paleontological artifacts and fossils. In 1995 the Hemet/San Jacinto Action Group, community leaders, regional educators, and State Officials formed the Western Center Community Foundation which, in turn began working to launch the Western Center for Archaeology & Paleontology. The Western Center opened to the public on October 15, 2006.


Non-profit, overseen by the Western Center Community Foundation


Access: General Public

Appointment required: No