DotW: Dinosaur Valley State Park (TX)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
DotW: Dinosaur Valley State Park (TX)
Fri, 06-16-2006 - 8:21am
Dinosaur Valley State ParkSwimming pool at Abilene State Park

P O Box 396
Glen Rose TX 76043

Park locator map

History: Dinosaur Valley State Park, located just northwest of Glen Rose in Somervell County, is a 1524.72-acre, scenic park set astride the Paluxy River. The land for the park was acquired from private owners under the State Parks Bonds Program during 1968 and opened to the public in 1972.

Eastward-dipping limestones, sandstones, and mudstones, deposited from approximately 113 million years ago along the shorelines of an ancient sea, form the geological setting for the park area. Over the last million years or so, these layered formations have been dissected and sculpted by the Paluxy River which, in many places, has cut down to resistant beds and planed off sizable exposures of rock in the river bottom.

Swimming pool at Abilene State Park

Activities: Dinosaur Valley State Park contains some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world. The dinosaur tracks are located in the riverbed, so please call ahead to check on river conditions. There are two fiberglass models; a 70-foot Apatosaurus and a 45-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex. They were built, under commission of the Sinclair Oil Company, New York World's Fair Dinosaur Exhibit of 1964 - 1965. Other activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, Equestrian use in a separate 100-acre area (no horses furnished), river swimming and fishing, and wildlife observation.

Area Attractions: Nearby attractions include Meridian State Park, Cleburne State Park; Acton State Historic Site (the state's smallest state park); Somervell County Museum; Somervell County Expo Center and Amphitheater, Comanche Peak Visitor's Center, Squaw Creek Reservoir, and the Fossil Rim Wildlife Park. For more information on the Glen Rose area visit

Facilities: Facilities include campsites with water and electric hook-ups, a picnic table, fire ring and/or grill; restrooms with showers. Backpack campsites are 1 to 2.5 mile hike in the North Primitive area (no restrooms in the area, water is available at the trail head); Day use only horseback riding is allowed in the South Equestrian Area (users must provide their own horses, no overnight equestrian facilities); There are 12 miles of hike and bike trails. The park also has a day-use picnic area; a group picnic pavilion with picnic tables and a fireplace (no electricity); a trailer dump station; an outdoor amphitheater; an interpretive center located in the headquarters, and a Park Store that sells dinosaur souvenirs such as caps, mugs, books, toys, etc. Cold drinks and snacks are also available.

Flora/Fauna: The Paluxy River runs through the area, and the terrain is wooded, hilly, and semi-rocky. Plants in the Paluxy River drainage are characteristic of the Cross Timbers and Prairie vegetational areas. The uplands show similarities with the plants of the Edwards Plateau to the south and west, supporting Ashe juniper, live oak, Texas red oak, and Texas ash, with some post oak and mesquite and various grasses and shrubs. Trees in the bottom lands are mainly American elm, cedar elm, Texas sugarberry, burr oak, and green ash. In well-watered zones along the river, the woodlands are made up of pecan, walnut, cottonwood, sycamore, black willow, and several kinds of shrubs, and vines.

The area hosts many species of both resident and migrant birds including the endangered Golden-Cheek Warbler and the Black-Capped Vireo along with wild turkeys. Waterfowl are occasionally seen near ponds and slack water pools. Mammals known to live in this environment include white-tailed deer, coyote, bobcat, raccoon, beaver, skunk, opossum, armadillo, fox squirrel, rabbit, and small rodents. There are also several kinds of lizards and snakes, and a variety of fish live in suitable portions of the river. A bird checklist is available at park headquarters.

Go to the USGS Somervell County Butterfly Checklist for
information on butterflies in this area. -->

More information on the wildlife mentioned here:

Elevation: 680
Weather: Temperature varies; first/last freeze: November 20/ March 11.

Schedule: Open: 7 days a week year-round. Hours: 8 am - 10 pm. Busy Season: March - November

Directions: The park is located 4 miles west of Glen Rose. Take US Highway 67 to FM 205 for 4 miles to Park Road 59; then go one mile to the headquarters. There is an honor box located at headquarters for collecting fees after office hours. Dinosaur Valley location map. media download(PDF 71.5 KB)

Current conditions and fire bans can vary from day to day. For more details, contact the park.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-05-2005
Thu, 06-22-2006 - 10:26pm
This is a fun place to visit. The kids loved the dino prints. Don't go if you want to fish right now. The rivers are only a couple a feet deep. We went a couple of weeks ago and dh could not fish. This is good and bad. The good is there are more prints to see. The bad is no fishing.




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Avatar for preludejf
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-26-2006 - 11:11pm

I wish this place were a little closer. Looks like a place we would like.

Josette in Louisiana

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 06-27-2006 - 8:49am
I've found another one like it (see our DoTW), but it's even further from you


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Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Fri, 07-07-2006 - 7:17am
This looks so cool, I hope to get here some day!

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!