WALK IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF DINOSAURS IN TEXAS!
After we spent a good amount of time and energy trying our luck digging for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park and exploring Lake Greeson in Arkansas, it was time to point our van west and head on over to the Hill Country of Texas.
As someone who loves the great outdoors and discovering new things, I was excited to explore Dinosaur Valley State Park in Texas. This 1,524-acre park is known for its dinosaur tracks preserved in the limestone rock of the Paluxy River, but it’s so much more than that. From hiking and camping to picnicking and fishing, there’s something for everyone at this popular destination. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a fun family adventure, Dinosaur Valley State Park has something to offer.
WHAT IS DINOSAUR VALLEY STATE PARK?
Dinosaur Valley State Park is a 1,524-acre park in Texas located along the Paluxy River. It is best known for its dinosaur tracks that are preserved in the limestone rock of the riverbed. The park also features camping, picnicking, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. It is a popular destination for visitors looking to explore the prehistoric history of the area.
10 REASONS TO VISIT DINOSAUR VALLEY STATE PARK:
- Hike through the beautiful, rugged terrain of the park.
- See the life-sized dinosaur sculptures and learn about the area’s geology and history.
- Marvel at the stunning views of the Paluxy River.
- Enjoy a refreshing dip in the water and beat the Texas heat in the Paluxy River. Depending on the water levels, you can cool off in actual dinosaur footprints!
- Camp in one of the park’s primitive and drive-in campsites.
- Explore the park’s bird-watching opportunities.
- Take a guided tour to learn more about the park’s dinosaur tracks.
- Visit the Interpretive Center to learn about the area’s fossils, plants, and animals.
- Have a picnic in one of the park’s numerous picnic areas.
- Take advantage of the park’s equestrian trails, which are open to the public.
10 FACTS ABOUT DINOSAUR VALLEY STATE PARK:
- Dinosaur Valley State Park is located in Somervell County, Texas, about 80 miles west of Dallas.
- The park is named for its many dinosaur tracks, which can be seen in the bed of the Paluxy River.
- The park opened in 1972 and covers 1,524 acres.
- The park has two campgrounds, two picnic areas, two playgrounds, and a swimming pool.
- Visitors can rent canoes and paddle boats to explore the Paluxy River.
- There are over 14 miles of trails for hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders.
- The park is home to many species of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, raccoons, opossums, armadillos, and numerous species of birds.
- The park also offers interpretive programs and guided hikes.
- The park has a visitor center with exhibits about the park’s history, geology, and wildlife.
- The park is open year-round and has an entry fee.
HOW MANY DAYS DO YOU NEED TO EXPLORE DINOSAUR VALLEY STATE PARK?
It depends on what you plan to do and how much time you have. If you just want to drive through the park and take in the scenery, you could do it in an afternoon. If you plan to explore the trails, take part in ranger-led activities, and camp overnight, you could need several days. We camped there for 2 nights and when we left we felt that we explored all we needed to see, though if we were bird-watchers, or weren’t being dragged by the boys, we could have spent maybe one more afternoon there.
BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT DINOSAUR VALLEY STATE PARK?
The best time to visit Dinosaur Valley State Park is during the spring and fall months. The temperatures are cooler, making it more comfortable for outdoor activities. Spring wildflowers are in bloom in March and April, and fall foliage begins to show its colors in late October.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE AT DINOSAUR VALLEY STATE PARK?
The weather at Dinosaur Valley State Park can vary greatly depending on the season. In the summer months, temperatures are usually in the mid to high 80s with occasional spikes into the 90s. In the winter months temperatures can range from the mid-30s to the mid-50s.
WHAT IS THE MAIN ATTRACTION AT DINOSAUR VALLEY STATE PARK?
WHAT ARE THE TOP ATTRACTIONS AT DINOSAUR VALLEY STATE PARK?
- Hike the trails in search of dinosaur tracks
- Explore the Paluxy River and its canyon walls
- Go horseback riding on designated trails with Eagle Eye Ranch Carriage Company
- Swim and fish, and splash around in the river.
- Check out the dinosaur replicas at the park’s outdoor museum
- Take a bike ride
- Explore the park’s archaeological sites
- Go bird watching. Here is a checklist of the birds that frequent the park.
- Attend the park’s educational programs
- Take part in camping and nature activities
9 FAMILY ACTIVITIES IN GLEN ROSE, TX:
- Dinosaur Valley State Park – explore the dinosaur tracks and the scenic Paluxy River.
- Fossil Rim Wildlife Center – explore the African and American habitats and drive through the wildlife center.
- Squaw Valley Golf Course – enjoy a round of golf on this beautiful course.
- Big Rocks Park – take a hike, go fishing, or just enjoy the scenery at this picturesque park.
- Longhorn Cavern State Park – explore the underground cave system and learn about its history.
- Dinosaur World – explore life-sized dinosaur replicas and learn about prehistoric creatures.
- Comanche Peak Wilderness – take a hike through the rugged terrain and enjoy the breathtaking views.
- Dinosaur Drive – take a drive to the dinosaur tracks and enjoy the scenery.
- The Somervell County Expo Center – enjoy a variety of rodeos, concerts, and festivals throughout the year.
WHAT TO BRING FOR A DAY TRIP TO DINOSAUR VALLEY?
For a day trip to Dinosaur Valley State Park, it is important to bring:
- Comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots.
- Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses.
- A water bottle and snacks.
- A good camera to capture the scenic views and dinosaur tracks.
- Appropriate clothing for the weather, including a light jacket or raincoat.
- A picnic lunch.
- Insect repellent.
- A first-aid kit, including any necessary medications.
- A map or guidebook of the park.
- Trash bags to properly dispose of any waste.
Optional items to bring:
- A swimsuit and towel if you plan to swim.
- Fishing gear if you plan to fish.
- Binoculars for bird watching.
- A horseback riding helmet if you plan to go horseback riding.
- A mountain bike if you plan to go mountain biking.
- A picnic blanket to relax and enjoy the scenery.
IS THERE DINING AT DINOSAUR VALLEY STATE PARK?
No, there is no dining at Dinosaur Valley State Park. Visitors can bring their own food and drinks, or find food and drinks nearby in the town of Glen Rose. There is a gift shop in the park that sells cold drinks and small snacks.
IS THERE LODGING OR CAMPING AT DINOSAUR VALLEY STATE PARK?
Yes, there are plenty of camping options. You can either camp in a tent, or reserve a spot with RV hookups. Campers can stay in one of the park’s 40+ campsites, each of which has a picnic table and a fire ring. For those looking for a more comfortable stay, there are plenty of hotels in Glen Rose to choose from. As I mentioned earlier, we camped there for two nights. The campsites were all very clean and had a decent amount of privacy in between sites. The bathroom and shower facilities were also very clean. This park is one that is definitely proud of its appearance and does a great job maintaining it. The guests at the park were also surprisingly quiet too. I have been at some lakeside campgrounds where it can get a bit noisy, but this was not the case here.