top of page
  • Writer's pictureDan Wagner

Dino Delight: Exploring Mill Canyon & Copper Ridge Dinosaur Trackways

The Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite and Copper Ridge Dinosaur Trackways, located a few miles north of Moab, stand out as remarkable sites renowned for their dinosaur tracks. Visitors have the rare chance to journey back in time and observe the imprints left by dinosaurs that once roamed the Earth millions of years ago. Easily accessible, both locations offer a glimpse into the prehistoric era with minimal effort required for exploration.


Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite

You can easily find the location and directions to the site with a quick Google search. Located fifteen miles north of downtown Moab, the mile-long dirt road leading to the site from Rt 191 is suitable for most vehicles. Upon reaching the parking area, you'll encounter an information sign at the trailhead, providing details about what lies ahead.


Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite

Following a short stroll from the parking area, you'll reach a boardwalk surrounding the site. The aerial photo below provides a perspective on the scale of the boardwalk complex.


Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite

As you walk counterclockwise along the boardwalk, the first tracks you'll encounter are three 12-inch tracks belonging to a theropod that inhabited the region around 112 million years ago.


Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite

Informational placards are positioned along the boardwalk to provide insights into the tracks and the dinosaurs that left them behind. One of the most prominent tracks at the site is situated on the opposite side of the boardwalk from the aforementioned track.


Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite

The next tracks you'll come across belong to a sauropod that also lived in the region around the same time, leaving behind markedly distinct impressions. The photo below illustrates the tracks left by its hind feet.


Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite

Below, you'll find the tracks left by its front feet.


Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite

Once you've passed the shaded bench located along the boardwalk, you'll encounter the tracks of an ornithopod, a four-legged dinosaur known for frequently walking on its hind legs.


Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite

While visitors shouldn't anticipate encountering hundreds of dinosaur tracks at the site, the ones you do find are quite remarkable. It typically takes no more than fifteen minutes to stroll along the entire boardwalk, making it an excellent destination for families or anyone with an interest in dinosaurs. Additionally, the trailhead is a favored location for RV camping.


Copper Ridge DInosaur Trackways

The Copper Ridge Dinosaur Trackways are located approximately ten miles north of the Mill Canyon site. With a Google search, you can easily find the location and directions to the parking area, accessible by most vehicles. Upon arriving at the parking area, you'll begin a 0.3-mile uphill walk to the site.


Copper Ridge DInosaur Trackways

At the top of the trail, you'll encounter two placards providing information about the tracks you're observing. The area containing the tracks is relatively small, approximately one-third the size of Mill Canyon. The photo below offers a sense of scale for the area's size.


Copper Ridge DInosaur Trackways

The first set of tracks belongs to a sauropod that inhabited the region during the Late Jurassic period, around 150 million years ago. To the casual observer, they may simply appear as potholes on the surface.


Copper Ridge DInosaur Trackways

Just beyond the sauropod tracks you'll also find a few tracks belonging to a theropod.


Copper Ridge DInosaur Trackways

These resemble more closely what one might envision a dinosaur track to resemble, measuring approximately a foot in length. Due to the peculiar impressions left behind by this theropod, paleontologists speculate that the dinosaur may have had a limp.


Copper Ridge DInosaur Trackways

Once you've finished exploring the area, simply retrace your steps back the way you came.

コメント


bottom of page