Moab Utah is a fantastic outdoor paleontological museum. You can find tracks and skeletal remains numerous tracks that were made about 165 million years ago by dinosaurs walking in the tide-lands of an inland sea.
Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail
Get a glimpse of an era when huge creatures roamed the earth. Dinosaur bone still encased in rock may be viewed in Mill Canyon by following a short nature trail near the Monitor and Merrimac mountain bike/jeep trail. This is a short, self-guided interpretive trail.
Getting there: The trail starts at the Dinosaur Trailhead.
- Drive 15 miles north of Moab on U.S. 191, the turn left onto a dirt road (marked “Mill Canyon”). This road is just north of highway milepost 141. Be careful when crossing the train tracks.
- Proceed 0.6 miles on this dirt road to a “Y” intersection.
- Turn left at this point; go 0.5 miles to another intersection. Turn right here.
- The Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail is 0.6 miles away along this route. At the trailhead, you will find a parking area and interpretive signs both at the parking area and along the trail itself.
Poison Spider Dinosaur Trackways
Two rock slabs with footprints are visible from the parking lot, one at the base of the cliffs and another halfway down the slope, just above the cliff that drops down to the road. The lower of these slabs contains the tracks of at least 10 different meat-eating dinosaurs, ranging in size from 17 inches to nearly 5 feet at the hips.
- From the center of Moab, travel north on Highway 191 for 5.9 miles and turn left on Highway 279.
- Continue 6 miles from this junction until you reach the “Dinosaur Tracks” sign, where the route leaves the pavement. The parking lot is at the top of this hill.
Willow Springs Dinosaur Trackways
The tracks are preserved in the hard sandstone of the Entrada Formation. These tracks have been exposed for numerous years, and the tracks are beginning to erode. The sauropod tracks may appear as only potholes to the general viewer, with the three-toed tracks being easier to see.
Getting there: From Moab, go north on US Highway 191 for 12 miles. If coming from Crescent Jct. (I-70), go south on US Highway 191 for 18.7 miles. The track site is 3.4 miles off of Highway 191, on the Willow Springs Road.
- Turn right onto the Willow Springs Road, off US Highway 191.
- 1.4 miles – take the left fork to Willow Springs.
- 1.7 miles – stay right on the main road and continue straight towards the Klonzo Trails area.
- 2.9 miles – stay right.
- 3.4 miles – arrive at tracksite
Copper Ridge Sauropod Dinosaur Tracksite
The Copper Ridge Dinosaur Trackway is located north of Moab, Utah. The trackway includes imprints left by a large turning sauropod brontosaur and four theropod carnivores of various sizes. The Copper Ridge site with its abundance of different tracks is a rare find. The many different kinds and sizes of dinosaur tracks make Copper Ridge unique. The preservation of the tracks is fantastic, and this site is well worth a visit.
- From Moab, go north on US Highway 191 for 23 miles.
- Turn right 3/4 mile past milepost 148 (just north of the microwave tower).
- Cross the railroad tracks and follow the signs south on the dirt road. It is 2 miles to the trackways from the highway.
If coming from Crescent Jct. (I-70), turn left 1/4 mile past milepost 149, cross the railroad tracks and continue south on the dirt road.
For more information visit the BLM website, Canyon Country Paleontology.