Have fun with these things to do at Dinosaur Valley State Park.
Dinosaur Valley State Park is a short drive west of Fort Worth, TX, in the small town of Glen Rose – the Dinosaur Capital of Texas. 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 these things to do at Dinosaur Valley State Park. There’s more to see and do besides looking for dinosaur tracks – although that’s the main reason visitors go there.
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Dinosaur Valley State Park Tips
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 picnic supplies, snack items, and several fishing supplies if you plan to fish.
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 is plenty more to do besides mapping out the tracks.
Also, if you didn’t get your dinosaur fix, Dinosaur World is a couple of miles down the road. So is Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. You could spend a full weekend in this area visiting these attractions. It’s such a great place for the whole family to roam.
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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 had seen. 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 the correct shoes.
Read about Mapping Dinosaur Tracks, and if you want, download the digital dinosaur track maps on your GPS-enabled smartphone.
Pro Tip: Wear good water shoes when you go out there to look for the dinosaur tracks.
Things To Do At Dinosaur Valley State Park
On May 13, 2023, from 8-9 pm, this park will celebrate the 100 Years of Texas State Park with its 100 S’more Years of Texas State Parks! Free s’mores for everyone with your park entry fee.
Admission: $8, and 12 and under are free.
1. 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.
2. Have A Picnic
Why, yes, you can have lunch with the dinosaurs!
There is a designated picnic area with plenty of picnic tables 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, where we had lunch close to TREX. The store is open in case you forget something at home. It’s a small store, but they have drinks, snacks, and more.
3. Hike Or Bike At Dinosaur Valley State Park
The map you receive when checking in mentions all the trails. It’s your guide to miles of trails – at least 20 miles of nature trails to explore. Some trails are more difficult than others; 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.
Pro Tip: 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.
4. Go Geocaching In The Park
Discover hidden finds while hiking the trails. We were excited to find out 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.
5. Jump In The Blue Hole Swimming Pool
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! There is 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.
6. Go Tent Camping
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.
Pets: Bring your dogs because they are allowed!
Bring your pole and fishing gear to fish for catfish, bass, carp, and gar. Fishing is free from the bank and in the water. Worms are sold at the park store.
8. 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 besides looking for tracks. Have fun!
And, if there’s a time during your visit, be sure to visit Fossil Rim for a cool safari experience.
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