Walk where the dinosaurs roamed at the Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, one hour south of Fort Worth, Texas. Enjoy beautiful views of Paluxy River Valley, step in their footprints, and imagine these enormous creatures living there in times past.
Walk On Dinosaurs Tracks
While visiting Dallas, Texas, we wanted to explore the surrounding countryside on fun day trips. A unique experience stood out; to see and walk in actual dinosaur footprints. About an hour outside of Fort Worth, we discovered the small town of Glen Rose. The town is making the most of its unique attraction with large billboards, statues, and dinosaur-themed parks found along the main roads.
Near the entrance of the park is the Headquarters where we picked up park maps, paid our entrance fees, and walked through the interpretive center to learn more about its history.
We had about two hours allotted in our itinerary to explore the park, so the rangers recommended we visit the “Main Track” and the “Ballroom” sites.
The Main Track Site
Located across the northwest parking lot, the Main Site is accessible down a stone staircase to the riverbed. Carefully cross a series of stepping stones to the other side. They are very slippery, so take caution.
The tracks in this area include both sauropod and theropod, as well as a rare tail impression. The park staff regularly maintains cleaning the tracks and may rope off areas for preservation.
The larger tracks are believed to be made by the Sauroposeidon (Brontosaurus), and the smaller three-toed tracks by the Acrocanthosaurus (similar to the T-Rex). Nearby, bones of the Acrocanthosaurus have been found embedded in similarly aged stone.
South of the Main Track Site is the Ballroom Site. This entire site was systematically cleaned, photographed, and mapped by a team of paleontologists, geologists, and more. It earned the name “ballroom” because of the variety of tracks displayed in this area.
Over 500 dinosaur footprints of different depth and clarity, representing at least three dinosaur species have been recorded here.
Maps, Trails, and Parking
There is so much to do at Dinosaur Valley State Park: find dinosaur tracks, swim or fish in the river, hike, observe wildlife, picnic, horseback riding, geocache, camp, and ride bikes. The Park Store is available near the large dinosaur models and offers snacks, outdoor supplies, and souvenirs. Parking is available in four different lots throughout the park.
At the Headquarters maps are available and friendly staff to help you plan your visit.
We had planned only a few hours in our itinerary to experience this park. Within the first 20 minutes of being there, I instantly regretted not allotting for at least a half-day. People were camping, enjoying picnics, and swimming in the river. Can you imagine floating in an inner tube down the river over dinosaur tracks? While we were disappointed not to have more time, we are extremely grateful for the time we spent there. It was a surreal opportunity of awe and wonder at a place where the dinosaurs once roamed.
- Check on social media or by phone if the tracks are visible the day of your visit.
- Bring water shoes, swimming gear, beach towels, sunblock, and inner tubes.
- Bring extra water and a cooler. It is very humid and hot, especially during the summer months.
- Bring insect repellent. You WILL need it.
- The best time to visit is when water levels are low, typically the end of summer.
- Bring a small whisk brush to gently clean away debris from the tracks.