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  • Writer's pictureDan Wagner

Rock Art & Dino Tracks: Exploring Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracksite

Visiting the Poison Spider Dinosaur Trackway site in Moab is a bit of a step back in time. Situated beside the Colorado River, the location gives a remarkable glimpse into the preserved imprints of a dinosaur that once roamed the Earth eons ago, as well as provide access to well-preserved ancient Native American petroglyphs. Irrespective of whether you are an ardent paleontology enthusiast or simply intrigued by Earth's history, a visit to the Poison Spider Dinosaur Trackway site in Moab promises an indelible experience.


Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracksite

Trailhead elevation 3,996'

Water None

Don't miss the petroglyphs above the dinosaur tracks



Hiking Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracksite

The trailhead for the Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracksite is located along Rt 279/Potash Rd, ten miles from downtown Moab. A simple Google search will give you the location and directions to the site. At the trailhead you'll find a kiosk offering valuable information about the site.


Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracksite

After walking a few hundred feet, the trail starts its ascent up the side of the formation shown in the photo above. Approximately one-third of the way up, the trail skirts beside a substantial sandstone slab housing two well-preserved theropod tracks, a type of dinosaur prevalent in the region during the Late Jurassic Period. Adjacent to the tracks, you'll find a placard providing information about the dinosaur responsible for leaving them.


Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracksite

During a recent visit with my dad, I flew my drone above the slab to offer a different perspective.


Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracksite

Continuing beyond the dinosaur tracks, the trail passes by a spur trail leading to Longbow Arch, then ascends to a ledge near the top of the formation. Upon reaching the ledge, you'll discover a small petroglyph panel featuring depictions of sheep and two human-like figures, one adorned with a headdress. If you proceed left along the ledge, you'll encounter an intriguing panel featuring six human-like figures holding hands, along with depictions of sheep, concentric circles, and a notably large snake.


Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracksite

The ledge offers plenty of space, allowing for easy movement and exploration, even for those with a fear of heights.


Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracksite

To the left of this panel you'll find an unusual depiction of a two-headed sheep.


Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracksite

Continuing along the ledge, you'll encounter a panel adorned with numerous human-like figures, some adorned with headdresses, along with a variety of animals, a hunting scene, and additional depictions.


Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracksite

Beyond this panel, you'll come across another panel featuring some truly fascinating images. Notably, two animal depictions seem to feature hammer-like appendages on their heads, one animal is depicted wielding a bow and arrow, a sheep has its front two feet encircled, and there's an unfamiliar animal with two humps and an elongated neck to the left of the panel. Additionally, a depiction of a scorpion is located near the right side of the panel.


Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracksite

Further along the ledge you'll find a boulder showcasing two sheep positioned strangely with their backsides pressed against each other.


Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracksite

There are numerous other images along the ledge, but these are among the most interesting. Once you've finished exploring, simply retrace your steps back to the trailhead. If you're interested in a longer hike to one of the more impressive natural arches in the area, consider Corona Arch, located just a few miles away along Hwy 279.


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