Dinosaur Valley State Park is a state park located in Glen Rose, Texas. You can discover unique dinosaur tracks and experience the rich paleontological history.
Visiting all the Texas State Parks is on my travel bucket list, so this trip we’re focusing on visiting a park that is closer to DFW: Dinosaur Valley State Park.
The distance from Fort Worth is 1 hr 10 min (68.2 mi) via Chisholm Trail Pkwy and US-67 S. The distance from Dallas is 1 hr 29 min (80.3 mi) via US-67 S.
When planning a visit to Dinosaur Valley State Park, it’s advisable to check the park’s official website or contact the park office for up-to-date information on facilities, trail conditions, and any special events or restrictions.
Facts about Dinosaur Valley State Park:
The 1,587-acre Dinosaur Valley State Park opened in 1972. Its mission is to preserve these valuable dinosaur track sites and to allow people to learn from and enjoy them.
- Dinosaur Tracks: The park is home to preserved dinosaur tracks that date back to the Cretaceous period, around 113 million years ago. Visitors can see and walk in the tracks left behind by dinosaurs such as Acrocanthosaurus and Sauroposeidon.
- Paluxy River: The park is situated along the Paluxy River, which runs through the park and offers opportunities for swimming, fishing, and tubing. The river also provides a scenic backdrop for picnicking and hiking.
- Hiking Trails: Dinosaur Valley State Park offers several hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the park’s natural beauty and discover additional dinosaur tracks. The trails range in difficulty, offering options for all skill levels.
- Camping and Picnicking: The park provides campsites and picnic areas for visitors who wish to spend more time immersed in the park’s surroundings. Campsites include both tent and RV camping options, and amenities such as restrooms and showers are available.
- Educational Programs: The park offers educational programs and guided tours to enhance visitors’ understanding of the park’s geological and paleontological significance. These programs are particularly popular among families and school groups.
- Wildlife and Nature: In addition to the dinosaur tracks, Dinosaur Valley State Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, birds, and reptiles. The park’s diverse habitats make it an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers.
Things to Do in Dinosaur Valley State Park
Hunt for Dinosaur Tacks 🦖🦕 – It’s easy to find dinosaur tracks in the park – just head to the river! I highly recommend going early in the morning to beat the Texas heat and avoid the crowds, especially during the summer months. You can also download a map on a GPS-enabled device to help you find the tracks.
Travel Tip: While the most tracks are visible at the end of summer, late May and early June are really the best times to go hiking in Dinosaur Valley State Park
I checked the Instagram account the Wednesday before our weekend trip and all the trails were closed.
Swim at the Blue Hole – Enjoy the natural swimming hole; you can swim up and sit or stand in an exposed dinosaur track.
Take Photos with the Dinos – Take your picture with the dinosaur models featured at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair.
Hike – Make tracks of your own in this park where dinosaurs left their footprints and explore 20 miles of trails.
Other Dinosaur Things to Do Near Dinosaur Valley State Park
- Glen Rose, the “Dinosaur Capital of Texas” – Tour the square, visit Barnard’s Mill and Art Museum and the Somervell County Museum. It’s called the “Dinosaur Capital of Texas” because 113-million years ago hundreds of dinosaurs used the nearby Paluxy River.
- Dinosaur World – Dinosaur World offers fun for the entire family, but especially for the youngsters that are fascinated by dinosaurs. Visitors have an opportunity to literally walk among the dinosaurs. The museum is complete animatronic dinosaurs, fossil replicas and natural fossils, a dinosaur dig for the kids, and a playground.
- Fossil Rim Wildlife Center – Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 entity, specializing in captive breeding programs for indigenous and exotic endangered and threatened species. You can enjoy a self-guided drive through 7.2 miles of Texas hill country and see endangered antelope and possibly feed giraffes.
Dinosaur Valley State Park Details
- Cost: Adults $8 / Children 12 and under free
- Address: 1629 Park Road 59, Glen Rose, TX 76043
- Gate Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Dinosaur Valley State Park is also dog-friendly – we wouldn’t visit if we couldn’t hike with our dog! You can bring your pets to almost all Texas state parks. Pets must be on leash at all times. Pets are not allowed in any state park buildings. This includes motels, cabins, screened shelters, group facilities and restrooms.
You can find more things to do in Texas here.