Here are fun things to do at Dinosaur Valley State Park.
What kid doesn’t like dinosaurs? Mine has since he was a toddler. Whenever I get a chance to take him to see these creatures, dinosaur tracks included, I do. Our visit was anything but boring. Check out the things to do at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, TX, for the day; besides looking for dinosaur tracks – because that’s the main reason visitors go there – there’s so much more.
Things To Do At Dinosaur Valley State Park
A short drive west of Fort Worth in the small town of Glen Rose, TX, the dinosaur capital of Texas. Dinosaur World, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, and the Dinosaur Valley State Park. You could spend a full weekend in this area and still not see everything. It’s such a great place for the whole family to enjoy.
When you first enter the park, life-size dinosaurs of T-Rex and the Brachiosaurus (Long Neck) greet you, which to me are one of the main attractions in the park. Be sure to bring a picnic as plenty of picnic tables are available –close to T-Rex! It’s like having lunch with the dinosaurs. Don’t worry if you forgot something – the park store is close to the entrance and stocked with several fishing supplies if you plan fishing.
The scenic Paluxy River runs through Dinosaur Valley State Park and is home to many dinosaur tracks owned by the ancient Acroscanthosaurus and the Sauroposeidon. We all know many visitors flock to the park to view the ancient dinosaur tracks and see if they can find the Sauropod tracks, but there are plenty more things to do besides mapping out the tracks.
Related: Scratch-off Travel Maps
Finding Dinosaur Tracks At Dinosaur Valley State Park
The most asked question is: “Are the Dinosaur Valley State Park tracks real?” According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, they are. Dinosaur track visibility largely depends on how much rain the area has received will determine the sighting of tracks. The water levels must be low to see them. But to find them, you will probably have to wade through the water. So, as you can guess, the best time to NOT go is after a full downpour that this area gets from time to time.
When we visited, my son and his friend were determined to find any dinosaur track they could – large or small, and it didn’t matter. So off they went to walk on rocks in the river and wade in the water to find them. They had a great time together naming all the types of dinosaurs they thought they saw. I stayed back to take pictures. Well, I didn’t want to walk across those rocks. Brody later said, “Mom, you would not have made it” – thanks, son! In my defense, those rocks were slippery, and I didn’t have on the correct shoes. Do you believe that?
Read about Mapping Dinosaur Tracks, and if you want, download the digital dinosaur track maps on your GPS-enabled smartphone.
Tip: You’ll want to wear good water shoes when you go out there to look for the dinosaur tracks.
Visit The Interpretive Center
Be sure to swing by the Interpretive Center to catch a glimpse of the dinosaur exhibit and many more educational experiences.
Plenty of Picnic Tables Available
There is a designated picnic area in the park next to a children’s playground, but busy during lunchtime. If this area is too crowded, there are a few picnic tables at the front next to the park store. The store is open in case you forgot something at home. It’s a small store, but they have drinks and snacks and a few more items.
Miles Of Trails To Hike At Dinosaur Valley State Park
The map you receive when checking in mentions all the trails. It’s your guide to 20 miles of nature trails to explore. Some trails are more difficult than others, and the map lets you know which. Whatever trail you choose to hike, wear a good pair of hiking boots or shoes because some trails are steep and rugged.
Save some energy to hike up to the Paluxy River Scenic Overlook area. That’s the only way to get there. Parking is not close by.
Discover Hidden Finds While Geocaching
We were excited to find out that we could look for geocaches at the park. Do you have the geocaching app on your phone? If not, get it. This sport is so much fun! We were lucky and found two geocaches and the boys were thrilled. This would be a brilliant place to start If you’ve never done geocaching in Texas State Parks.
The Blue Hole Swimming Pool At Dinosaur Valley State Park
The Blue Hole is a popular area to go swimming. There are plenty of places to dip your feet in the water in the park, but at The Blue Hole, where it’s 20 feet deep, you can put your whole body in the water. Walking down the rocky ledge was quite a picture of me, but I did it, and it was fun…once I got down to the swimming area, Chastity saw a snake, and that was it for us!
Pro Tip: Life jackets are a must!
We saw the neatest thing and thought it was a brilliant idea. It’s a “Borrow A Life Jacket” stand with life jackets that anyone can use while swimming in the river. I wished I had gotten a photo of it. The life jackets looked pretty new.
If you like to tent camp, you’re in luck with overnight lodging. You will not find cabins here, only campsites with or without electricity. More information is found on the Dinosaur Valley State Park’s campsites page. Bring your dogs because they are allowed!
Horseback Riding Near Dinosaur Valley State Park
Saddle up and enjoy spectacular views along the park’s scenic trails next to the Paluxy River on a guided horseback tour. Guided trail rides are through Eagle Eye Ranch Carriage Company. They will take you to the best places to see the natural beauty around the scenic park. We didn’t do this, but we will be saddling up for a ride on our next visit! It looked amazing.
See, there are many things to do at Dinosaur Valley State Park other than looking for tracks. Have fun!! I’ll leave you with a photo of this enormous creature (above).
And, if there’s time in your visit, be sure to visit Fossil Rim for a cool safari experience.