Does anyone at your house love dinosaurs?
Our 5-year-old son is a huge dinosaur fan. As a result, I too have read many dinosaur books, watched many episodes of Dinosaur Train and made many trips to local dinosaur museums. Thankfully, Utah has dinosaur sites aplenty. When I found out about sites near Moab where we could see real dinosaur bones and tracks out in nature, we had to see them for ourselves.
I also love petroglyphs and there are some amazing and easily accessible examples of ancient rock art in several places near Moab.
Here are some of the family-friendly dinosaur and petroglyph sites we've seen near Moab, Utah.
Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail
The Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail is a short, flat dirt trail where you can see real bones from several varieties of dinosaur still embedded in the rocks. They are just a few feet above the ground, so they are easy to see. They would be hard to spot if you didn't know what to look for. Interpretive signs along the trail help you spot and identify the fossils.
You'll also see remains of a old copper mill. We spotted fresh coyote tracks too, though I wouldn't worry much about running into one of these in the daytime.
We used the directions at https://utah.com/mill-canyon-dinosaur-trail and we found the dinosaur sites without any trouble. As mentioned on the site, you do need to drive on a dirt road for about two miles to get to the trail. Our minivan did not have any trouble on this road, However, you probably won't get through if the road is wet.
The Potash Road Dinosaur Tracks are even more accessible. Potash Road is just north of Moab and is well marked from Highway 191. The drive is beautiful, with the Colorado River on one side and sheer, colorful cliffs on the other.
On your way, look for a sign pointing to petroglyphs and pull off to the side. Look up to see the petroglyphs on the sheer rock face.
A little farther down the road is a turn off to a parking lot where you can see the dinosaur tracks. You can see the tracks from the parking lot and walk a short trail for a closer look. The tracks are up high and it's easiest to see them from farther away – especially with binoculars.
This is one of the best petroglyph sites I've ever seen. The rock face is covered in ancient art, and what it means or why it's there remains a mystery. The petroglyphs are low to the ground, so they are easy to see.
Take Highway 191 south from Moab and turn off on Highway 211 about halfway to Monticello. Follow the signs for about 13 miles. It's well marked.
Click the button below to get more of my tips for visiting Newspaper Rock.
Copper Ridge Dinosaur Tracksite
The Copper Ridge Dinosaur Tracksite is a fairly recent discovery, and I confess that I haven't been here yet. It's a collection of tracks and tail drags in nature, which is a pretty cool thing to see.
Like Mill Canyon, this site is just off of Highway 191, a few miles farther outside Moab.
Moab Giants Museum and Dinosaur Park is another recent addition to Moab, and we haven't seen it yet either. It seems like a great attraction for families with young children (like mine) who love dinosaurs.
Here are a few more websites where you can get up-to-date information about Moab's dinosaur destinations and petroglyphs:
- utah.com/dinosaur (scroll down to Southeastern Utah section)
How else can I help?
Need a place to stay? There are lots of good options in Moab, including hotels, resorts, vacation rentals and camping. We usually stay at Aarchway Inn, which is one of the closest hotels to Arches National Park.
Click the red button to check rates and availability for Aarchway Inn and other Moab hotels on TripAdvisor.com.
Moab is one of Utah's best and most popular destinations for families. Arches National Park is right outside of town and it's my favorite place to visit in this area. Click “Next” to read my top recommendations in Arches National Park for families, or visit my Grand County or San Juan County pages to see all my tips for visiting this area.