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.
Trailhead elevation 3,996'
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 which gives some really great information on the site.
After a few hundred feet the trail begins to ascend the side of the sandstone formation in the center of the photo above. About a third of the way up, the trail passes beside a large sandstone slab that contains two well-preserved theropod tracks, a dinosaur common to the region during the Late Jurassic Period. A placard has been placed near the tracks, which gives information on the dinosaur that left them.
The photo below shows the tracks from overhead.
The trail continues past the dinosaur tracks, passing a spur trail that leads to Longbow Arch, before reaching a ledge near the top of the formation. Upon reaching the top of the trail you'll encounter a small petroglyph panel containing depictions of sheep and two human-like figures, one with a headdress. There's a fair amount of graffiti on this panel, but if you continue left along the ledge you'll find an interesting panel containing six horned human-like figures holding hands, sheep, concentric circles, and a fairly large snake.
The ledge is wide and there is plenty of room to move around while you're up there.
To the left of this panel you'll find an odd depiction of a two-headed sheep.
Further along the ledge there's a panel featuring many human-like figures, some wearing headdresses, as well as many animals, a hunt scene, and more.
Past these two you'll find another panel, which includes some very fascinating images. What several of the depictions represent, I have no idea, but I don't recall finding them anywhere else in the area. Two of the animal depictions appear to have hammer-like appendages to their heads, one animal is holding a bow and arrow, there's a sheep whose front two feet are within a circle, and an unknown animal depiction with two humps and a very long neck to the left of the panel. There's also a depiction of a scorpion near the right side of the panel.
At some point along the ledge you'll find a boulder at ground level containing two sheep that are strangely butt-to-butt.
There are many more images along the ledge, but these are some of the more fascinating. When you're done exploring simply return to the trailhead the way you came up.