After the discovery of various kinds of preserved dinosaur tracks in this area of Texas, the Dinosaur Valley State Park opened in 1972 to continue to preserve them. The park consists of 1,587 acres where you can find theropod and sauropod tracks, along with a 70 foot model of the Apatosaurus and the 45-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex model. The dinosaur tracks that you can find for yourself here are so astounding that the park has been designated as a National Natural Landmark. How exciting it is to know that you can walk the same land as the dinosaurs and actually see the footprints they left millions of years ago!
When you visit the park in the summer, you can expect the temperatures to reach the high 90s and sometimes only barely drop down to the 60s. In the winter though, temperatures can get down below freezing, so if you bring your RV at this time, come prepared for cold nights. No matter what the weather holds, the main attraction to the park- the dinosaur tracks- will remain the same. Plus, you can enjoy all sorts of outdoor recreation including hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, and swimming. So pack up that RV and head out to Dinosaur Valley State Park.
RV Rentals in Dinosaur Valley State Park
Transportation in Dinosaur Valley State Park
Dinosaur Valley State Park is located just four miles from Glen Rose, off of Highway 67. Navigating to and inside the park is easy and you shouldn’t run into any difficulties on the road, even if you decide to drive your RV. Local roads will take you past all the major attractions including the dinosaur models, campground, and picnic areas. For convenience though, it may be easier to set up your RV at the campsite first, then head out to other areas of the park in your car to prevent parking issues.
There are plenty of parking options available, as this park does have large parking lots. Parking lots are located near the campground, dinosaur models, and past the Ozark Site. However, on weekends and holidays parking can become limited. If you do find a parking spot it's easy to walk along the trails to your desired destination. If you have an RV and are not taking it to a campsite, another option is to leave it at the nearest town only 5 miles away and only bring your car.
Campgrounds and parking in Dinosaur Valley State Park
Campsites in Dinosaur Valley State Park
Dinosaur Valley State Park Campground
There are 46 pet-friendly campsites available for RV use in the park, but your RV must be less than 40 feet in length in order to fit at any of the sites. If you want to bring an RV here, remember that for this park, the smaller the RV is, the better. Each site is also back-in only, so keep that in mind as well. While you have the option to do a walk-up for a site, you’ll be better off making reservations, especially if you plan on coming on a weekend or holiday. During these times, the park tends to fill up so fast that reservations may need to be made three months in advance in order to secure a spot for yourself. At these campsites, you’ll have water and electricity hookups available. Restrooms and showers are easily accessible within walking distance. You can also enjoy use of a picnic table, a grill, and a fire ring. Some sites are paved with concrete, although others are gravel so it might be more difficult to get your rig level. While most of the sites are shaded, they tend to be close together. You can head out onto nature trails right from the campground. You’ll have everything you need to have a good RV camping trip right here in the park.
Dinosaur Valley State Park Campground
The campsites here are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, they are also available for reservations so you will not be guaranteed a camping spot unless reservations are made ahead of time. If you are lucky enough to snag a campsite without a reservation you'll still have access all the great amenities such as a grill, fire ring, and picnic table. Showers and restrooms are located nearby. These campsites can accommodate RVs up to 35 feet in length. You can easily walk from the campsite onto the nature trails or head on over to the dinosaur models.
If you’re looking for something a little wilder than staying in an RV, you can leave the RV behind and go primitive camping in the park. At all of the primitive campsites, there is no access to restrooms, showers, water, or picnic tables. However, you will have access to a fire ring, lantern post, and water nearby. All of the sites require that you hike up to a half mile in order to reach the site. Other sites require one to two and a half miles of hiking in order to reach your camping destination. On the longer hikes, you may have to cross the river too. It's a good idea to call ahead of time to make sure the river isn’t flooded. Primitive camping is not only a great way to get in shape with all of the hiking, but it’s also a great time to be alone and relax in the woods. After all, none of the primitive campsites are even within eyesight of each other. However, your furry friend can keep you company since these sites are pet-friendly.
Seasonal activities in Dinosaur Valley State Park
There are 20 miles of hiking trails at Dinosaur Valley State Park. Along these trails, you might be able to find many of the natural dinosaur tracks that were left here millions of years ago. The discovery of these artifacts can make for a really exciting adventure and one that you don’t want to miss out on. Ask a ranger to help you find the best spots to search for dinosaur tracks. If you're looking for a more adventurous hike you might want to explore the seven-mile Cedar Brake Outer Loop with has steep terrain that goes around the entire edge of the park.
With all of the beautiful nature that this park has to offer, it makes for the perfect spot to invite some friendly company along and have a nice picnic. There are plenty of good spots to picnic in the park, and if you find one under the shade, the summer heat won’t seem so bad. So bring some good food to enjoy with your great company.
With 20 miles of hiking trails, many of these are open for mountain biking as well. Just be sure to stay safe, as some of the trails can be bumpy for those who wish to take on the challenge of riding their bike on it. This can be a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air.
The river in the park is the perfect place to get out of the RV and go for a dip when you’re feeling hot and worn out from the Texan heat. Just be sure to stay safe by reading the park’s swimming safety tips. You might even get to find some of the dinosaur tracks that were left by the river.
Just as the river is a great place to swim, it’s also a great place to go fishing. In Texas, you don’t need a fishing license in order to go fishing at the state parks. All you need is a fishing pole, some bait, and a nice shady spot to start casting your line.
Discovering Dinosaur Tracks
Dinosaur tracks that were left here back when dinosaurs roamed the earth is the biggest attraction to the entire park. You can find real tracks all along different trails and at the river. You can even learn about them at the Interpretive Center. The tracks are by far one of the coolest things you’ll get to see in the park. Be sure to ask a ranger for help to find the best spots for locating these ancient footprints.
Visiting the Interpretive Center
The Interpretive Center is a great place to visit, especially if you want to learn more about the dinosaur tracks. You’ll find various kinds of molds of the tracks and learn how they came to be. This can be a great learning experience for kids, adults, and everyone in between.
Wildlife and Bird Watching
While you may not get to see real live dinosaurs anymore, there are lots of other animals that you might be able to spot in the park. Many people like to come here to bird watch, especially during the migratory season. Other popular animals you can spot include deer, bobcats, and armadillos.
The South Primitive Area of the park holds 100 acres that are perfect for going on adventures on horseback. Your horse will be very welcome here and they’ll even be allowed to drink from the river. You may want to bring your own water bucket in your horse trailer to make things a bit easier though.
Attending Ranger Programs
There are many different kinds of regularly scheduled ranger programs that this state park offers. You'll have the opportunity to learn all about the park’s history, wildlife, dinosaur tracks, or even about the stars. You can also head out of the camper and go on guided tours or learn new skills such as archery and fishing.