We recently took a family vacation to Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas. We camped in a tent, cooked over a fire, hiked, played in the Paluxy River, and most importantly, walked where dinosaurs walked.
The scenery in the park is just amazing. The river is lined, in many places, by high cliffs. And best of all, there are well-preserved dinosaur footprints to explore, touch, and even step in!
The State Park has an official YouTube video.
It is amazing to walk right in the shallow river and see the footprints of two different dinosaurs. The river has several different track sites, most of which are easily accessible by all ages. We had our five children, including 1 year-old Catie. The best time to view the tracks is when the river is down, but we were there after abundant spring rains, and were still able to view all of the track sites. We were told by another visiting family (homeschoolers, of all things!) that they visited after last summer’s record heat and drought, and were able to see a long trail of tracks in one area. Keep that in mind if you plan to visit.
|One of the track sites: isn’t this amazing???|
All of the park’s dinosaur information is told from an evolutionary point of view, as is to be expected. However, the Creation Evidence museum is located just outside the park entrance. There, you can get the scoop from a creationist’s perspective, including the fact that there are human footprints right next to some of the dinosaur tracks. This, of course, is treated as a joke in official park literature, but if you believe that dinosaurs were created on the same day as all other animals, and in the same week as man, you will LOVE the information available in this museum. Plan ahead: the museum is only open weekends (Thursday – Sunday); we missed it this time.
|Inside Dinosaur Valley State Park headquarters|
If you have an iPhone, the DVSP even has an app that I highly recommend. And explore it before or while you’re at the park; don’t wait until you get home like we did. Ahem. It has some great information about the history of the discovery and the park itself.
|Playing in the river|
Glen Rose is a sleepy little town, but there are some nice scenic drives nearby. The town of Grandbury is only about 15 minutes away, and has shopping (for emergency air mattresses), restaurants (for pizza), antique shops (for history lessons), and a beautiful lake (if you’re looking for more recreation).
We spent three days and two nights on this trip and created some wonderful family memories!