Looking for a summer destination that the whole family will enjoy? Here are the top 10 reasons why you’ll love taking a Texas road trip to Dinosaur Valley State Park.
1. Family Fun at Reasonable Prices
Located southwest of Fort Worth, the park is open year-round from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $7 a day, and kids 12 and under get in free. With 1,587 acres, the Paluxy River and 20 miles of trails, there’s plenty to see and do.
2. Dinosaur Tracks
Two types of dinosaurs roamed here 113 million years ago. You can still see and walk where they walked. Sauropods left footprints shaped like saucers; Theropods left footprints with three toes.
Three kinds of camping are available:
- 46 sites with electric and water hookups, picnic table and grill; $25 per night.
- 8 primitive sites with fire ring and lantern post; no water; $15 per night.
- 7 backpack sites; no water; no ground fires allowed; $15 per night.
It’s suitable whether you’re the type who likes to rough it or you prefer modern amenities.
You can picnic, hike, bird-watch, mountain bike, and swim and fish in the river. The park store has rods, reels and outfitted tackle boxes you can borrow and keep for up to seven days.
5. Nature and Wildlife
You’ll see deer, coyotes, raccoons, beavers, armadillos, squirrels and rabbits. You can catch yellow and channel catfish, striped and largemouth bass, freshwater drum, alligator gar and bluegill in the river. Birders can see the endangered golden-cheeked warblers and black-capped vireos, as well as many other birds. Free birding kits contain binoculars, a reference guide and a pocket checklist.
6. Bring Your Horses and Dogs
Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times. You can ride your horses through the 100-acre South Primitive Area where there’s no potable water, but they can drink from the river.
7. Ranger Program
Park rangers will answer your questions and guide you on hikes. You can get free Junior Ranger Explorer Packs and Journals for the kids. They’ll earn a Junior Ranger pin when they complete a certain number of activities.
8. Park Amenities
The Interpretative Center holds wildflower and birding walks, campfire scary-story nights, photography scavenger hunts, star parties and even a fossil dig. There’s also a store where you can buy souvenirs, books, and camping and fishing supplies.
9. Fun History Lessons
History is downright fun here. You and your kids will learn that the park’s limestones, sandstones and mudstones were deposited about 113 million years ago when this area was the shore of a shallow sea. You’ll also learn that Paluxysaurus jonesi, one of the largest sauropods, was discovered right here. It was declared a new species in 2007 and became the official dinosaur of Texas in 2009.
10. Easy Drive
The park is located southwest of Fort Worth in Glen Rose, TX. The three main routes are: