Does anyone at your house love dinosaurs?
My 12-year-old son was a huge dinosaur fan a few years ago. As a result, I have read many dinosaur books, watched many episodes of Dinosaur Train and made many trips to local dinosaur museums. I was converted, and now I drag him to dinosaur destinations!
Moab has several spots where you can see dinosaur tracks and bones in nature, plus a dinosaur museum. We've “tracked” these down over several trips. Some tracks are recent discoveries, which is really exciting.
I also love petroglyphs and there are some amazing and easily accessible examples of ancient rock art in several places near Moab.
Here is my list of family-friendly dinosaur and petroglyph sites near Moab, Utah.
Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail
There are two parts of the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail: Tracksite and Bone Trail. They are more or less along the same dirt road. The tracksite is a little closer to the highway.
The Mill Canyon Tracksite is a fairly new discovery of tracks from 8 different types of dinosaurs. There is a boardwalk around it and interpretive signs along the way. This is a quick and easy trail for most ages and abilities.
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. Interpretive signs help you spot and identify the fossils.
To reach the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trailhead, drive 15 miles north of Moab on U.S. 191, then turn left at an intersection just north of highway mile marker 141. Watch for the Mill Canyon sign. Cross the railroad tracks and follow the dirt road and signs to the tracksite and bone trail.
Our 2WD minivan made it all the way to the bone trail on our 2012 visit, but not our 2019 visit. After visiting the tracksite, I headed for the bone trail, but turned around when we hit deep sand. This road is impassable when 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.
Related: Tips for Visiting Newspaper Rock
Moab Giants Museum and Dinosaur Park is fairly new. I've seen the outside, but not the inside. It's an indoor/outdoor, all-weather activity with a museum, movie, high tech exhibits and more. It seems like a great attraction for families with young children who love dinosaurs.
Moab Giants is located a few miles north of Moab on Highway 191, not far beyond the Arches National Park entrance. It's easy to spot.
Finding dinosaur fossils and petroglyphs in nature is and exciting and educational family activity. It's not something you can do most places, but both are abundant in the Moab area.
Here are a few more websites where you can get more 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.