Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite


Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4497 - 4425 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Mill Canyon
Fee: none
Attractions: Dinosaur tracks




The Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite is located north of Moab, Utah. The site, which contains more than 200 prints, was discovered in 2009. Since then paleontologists have been mapping the area and uncovering tracks. The BLM has built an interpretive trail with an elevated platform from which visitors can get a close look at the tracks without damaging them.


To get to the trailhead drive 15 miles north of Moab on Highway 191 and turn left at the Mill Canyon sign. Take another left at the first staging area. The tracksite parking area is a short distance further on the right.


A hard packed trail which is suitable for strollers leads the short distance from the trailhead to the tracksite.


A wheelchair might be able to manage the trail with some assistance but we aren't sure that it would be able to make it past the perimeter fence. At present there isn't a gate and you have to maneuver around an offset post.


The trail passes a crocodile track site before coming to the elevated platform that makes a loop around the exposed tracks.


A plaque at each station provides interesting details about the different types of tracks and the dinosaur that made them.


The information learned can then be applied to identifying each of the prints.


Looking over the tracksite you can see where some of the sauropod and theropod tracks overlay each other but there is nothing to suggest that all of these dinosaurs were making their tracks at the same time as the others. Much like at a watering hole today where animals come and go over the course of time with each leaving their own tracks behind so were these tracks probably made over the course of time possible spanning many days if not longer.


A unique aspect of the Mill Canyon Tracksite is that the tracks are found in the Ruby Ranch Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation. In fact, this is the largest and most diverse Early Cretaceous tracksite presently known in the world.


One of the kiosks has an artist's depiction showing how the track makers would look if you could see them standing before you in their tracks. It almost brings the place to life.


Several cameras have been installed at the site to aid in the identification of any would be vandals.


Primitive camping is available at the trailhead. Most campers are self contained but if you happen to be camping out of your vehicle or using a tent you will need to bring your own toilet because the Mill Canyon area presently doesn't have any such facilities. The Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite is really something to get excited about. They did a good job making the site accessible to the multitudes in a manner that will preserve the tracks for years to come. The interpretive signs provide a gold mine of information with visual cues that greatly augment the experience of viewing the tracks. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.