Weekend trip to Dinosaur Valley? Rangers offer some tips

Reporter Staff

Ready to visit Dinosaur Valley State Park either for the first time, or again?

Dinosaur Valley State Park,1629 Park Road 59, Glen Rose, has compiled 10 Ranger Tips for a safe, enjoyable visit whether you are a new visitor to the park, or a returning visitor. 

Put your feet in actual dinosaur footprints in the Paluxy riverbed.

• Check current park conditions. Track visibility and trail closures all depend on the weather and river conditions. Check social media or call the park headquarters at (254) 897-4588 for current conditions. The park headquarter is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

• Use the Texas State Park mobile app. Visitors can use the app to make reservations (highly recommended), download maps and find more information about the park.

• Don't wait in line, reserve online. Reserve your camping spot in advance through the mobile app or online at texasstateparks.reserveamerica.com

• Questions? Ask a ranger. Park rangers are there to help and can even answer questions about visiting other Texas State Parks.

• Have a plan ... and a backup plan. Flexibility to visiting the state park is key. Things happen that are out of our control such as river conditions, track visibility, etc.

• Park in designated areas only. Vehicles in a designated spot are "dino-mite."

• Keep pets on leashes. Dogs must be on a maximum 6-foot leash at all times.

• Leave only footprints. The dinosaurs didn't leave trash behind, only their tracks. Follow that example.

• Respect wildlife and resources. We are all visitors to wildlife habitats. Be respectful of their home and do not approach wildlife.

• Safety! Safety! Safety! Safety is the main priority during your park visit. Bring plenty of water. Stay on the trails. Following park ranger guidance.

Signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

With summer heat and activities in high gear, the park also advises hikers and visitors to be aware of symptoms of heat-related illness. Staying hydrated is key in this Texas heat — regardless of your activity in the park.

Heat exhaustion can occur suddenly, and left untreated can result in heat stroke. The best way to prevent heat-related illnesses is staying hydrated. Visitors need at least 16 ounces of water for every hour in the heat.

In addition to viewing the dinosaur tracks, visitors can enjoy camping, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, fishing and paddling in the river. They can also watch for wildlife, look for a geocache, go horseback riding, or visit the interpretive center.

There are 20 miles of trails and a park store for souvenirs, camping and fishing supplies, books and more. Kayak rental is also available at the park.

Entrance fees to the park are $7 daily for adults with children ages 12 and younger admitted for free.

For more information, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/