We love visiting southern Utah during the spring and fall seasons. A few weeks ago we spent an entire week in St. George, Utah relaxing and enjoying the area. After spending a few days there, I heard about the dinosaur tracks and had to take my kids to see them! My 8-year-old was in the middle of a dinosaur report at school so the timing was perfect.
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Warner Valley Dinosaur Tracks
The dinosaur tracks are only 15 miles outside of St. George on a mix of paved and dirt roads. It took us about 30 minutes to get to the tracks. The dirt road was in fairly good shape though you should expect to slow down as you get farther from town. We were able to use our smartphones to find the tracks without any hiccups. Yea! And there are signs directing aimless travelers to the dinosaur track site as you get closer!
The site was discovered in 1982. Over 400 tracks and 23 different trackways can be found at this location. Two groups of dinosaur tracks can be found, Eubrontes and Grallator.
From the parking lot, the tracks are simply a 1/6 mile away. A sign shows what kinds of dinosaurs are responsible for the tracks and the different ways you can find a the prints in the sandstone. We were able to see quite a few of the prominent tracks, but my kids had a really hard time seeing more than 20 dinosaur tracks. The kids were very surprised to learn that fossils, footprints, and imprints can be found all sorts of places and often where you least expect them.
As a self-proclaimed history nerd, I had to stop at Fort Pearce on the way back to St. George. While I hadn’t heard about the fort before this excursion, we drove by the sign on the way to see the dinosaur tracks.
Fort Pearce was built during the Blackhawk War of 1865-1868 which was the last major conflict between Indians and settlers. The Navajo had used Fort Pearce wash to gain entry to Mormon settlements spurring the creation of the fort.
Today, what remains of the fort is an incredibly unique rock structure. The building is approximately 30 feet long, 6-7 feet tall, with two gunports towards the top of the building. Based on the book, Immortal Pioneers, Albert E. Miller states the walls were originally 8 feet tall. This location was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 20, 1975.
To learn more about the dinosaur tracks and for fabulous, printable directions to this location, click here.
The Washington County Historical Society has a wonderful website for more information about Fort Pearce.
What I loved about this short day trip was that it was a bit unexpected. Before we spent time in St. George, I didn’t know about the dinosaur tracks or the fort. It made these discoveries more magical and interesting. What have you discovered on your trips that you didn’t know about?