So, last week my parents, affectionately known as Lolo and BB, flew out. They rented a convertible and wanted to tour through Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. We welcomed into our home base and planned a day of hiking with them. They learned that there were some dinosaur tracks in the area. So, we made it our mission to go hunting for dino tracks.
We began our outing by visiting the Red Cliffs Recreation Area. All of the Nomads have been here at least twice. But, we always followed the trail that took us along the creek and up the gorge. We never took the trails that lead out over the open areas. Well, if you take the Anasazi trail, it will lead you towards dinosaur tracks.
You will head down the trail and it will take you through some trees, brush and across a little creek. Eventually, you will come to a fork where the trail to the left is the Metate Trail. We passed this turn off (more about that in a minute) and continued on the Anasazi Trail until we climbed a hill and saw the remains of an old Anasazi settlement that has been traced as far back as 500 A.D. and continued until around 1200 A.D. Very interesting history of their agricultural prowess as well as water and food storage systems.
We, of course, realized that we did not follow the correct path for the dino tracks since the trail did not continue on. So we back tracked and learned that we should have turned earlier. You guessed it, at the Metate Trail. So, we turned on this trail which led us to the Red Reef East trail. Within 50 to 70 yards of turning onto this trail, there was a sign with a dinosaur footprint on it. We deviated off of the trail and explored the various dinosaur imprints. After Lolo and BB had their fill, we were on our way.
We did explore the trail, for a while, that follows the creek. The creek was dry but a few swimming holes still persisted. We eventually hiked back to Ebony and collectively decided to go to another site. Mama Nomad found us more dino tracks by an area, just outside (northwest) of St. George, called the Dino Cliffs. So we plugged the directions into the GPS and away we went.
To get there, at Exit 10, off of I-15, you travel to the western side of the interstate and travel north on W Redhills Parkway, which tuns into W Buena Vista Blvd. After a mile or so, you will come to Main St., make a left. This will take you to what looks like a dead-end. It’s not. Continue onto the dirt from the paved road. If you are in a car that is low to the ground, you may want to rethink this. There are some very rough spots with ruts and high mounded areas. You will come to a Y in the road, head to the right. You will come to a T in the road, head to the left. You will see a concrete water retention structure. Head towards it. You will see a sign on the right and dirt parking on the left; no parking lot, just an area you can more or less pull off onto.
The trail will lead you down a hill of sand for about a 1/2 to 1/5 a mile. When you reach the bottom of that sand hill, the trail will continue on. Do not follow it if you are there to see the dino tracks. At the bottom of the hill is a large slab of rock. In that rock you will see chucks that look like they are missing. They aren’t. Those are dino tracks, about 15 to 20 of them.
Lolo and BB were on the hunt to see some dino tracks and the Nomads delivered twice. They were happy and we were thrilled. Easy day of hiking, in good weather where we were able to see dino tracks and no one got hurt. I call that a winner of a day. Safe Travels.