Some places you just have to get to now because they won’t be around forever. Places that you are amazed you can just walk into… because it just seems so special and a bit fragile. And one of those places also has dinosaurs.
Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose, TX, is a great find and is located just outside of a super cute town. Also, it is totally awesome.
The park is situated around the Paluxy River which is very wadeable (reads: “kid friendly”). Throughout the river, hiding just below the surface, you can see tracks of sauropods and therapods! Millions of years ago, the park was a Cretaceous beachfront… a hip meeting spot for all walks of prehistoric life. Footprints in the mud were preserved for a few millennia and several of them can be seen today. If you happen to visit on a quiet day, it may almost feel as though you’ve been transported back 66 million years… where dinosaurs may lurk around the next bend.
Though the river bed is mostly shallow, there are a few swimming holes within the park. The water so cool one wonders if there is an ice sheet melting somewhere nearby. The swimming/wading is perfect for families with young children and as mentioned before, the dinosaur tracks are accessible even to littlest of hikers.
Unfortunately, as is Mother Nature’s tendency, these tracks will not be around forever. There is already a portion of tracks that were badly eroded in a flood a couple of years ago. So go, go now!
The campsites are all lovely. They are located within a grove of oaks and are shady even at noon. All sites are large and feel pretty private. The campground has electrical and water hookups at all sites.
Just outside the park’s main entrance is a for-profit dinosaur theme park, Dinosaur World. Although it is a bit pricey, it was a fun stop. There are more than 100 sculptures of a wide variety of dinosaurs scattered along a one mile walking path. We had a great time scouting out the dinosaurs hidden amongst the trees. You can also purchase tickets to do a fossil dig (we skipped this) and they have a nice playground surrounded by covered picnic areas, a fun morning activity.
The closest town is Glen Rose, TX, and it is CUTE. We walked around the town square enjoying the old buildings and looking in shop windows. There is even a Hollywood sign, just for funsies.
Do you have any favorite vanishing must see sights? We’d love to hear from you.