Photos of Dinosaur Trail

Distance: 1.0 miles Elevation Gain: 32 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

lake

no shade

historic site

hiking
Sunday, August 12, 2018

This trail is an easy out and back that features a significant dinosaur trackway site and interpretive signs that give interesting information about the discovery. It is located in Clayton Lake State Park, which encompasses a small recreational lake with camping and bass fishing available. The park is located in the high plains region of northeast New Mexico, near the Texas state line. Our family found great campsites at this park overlooking the lake, with refreshingly cool nights and mornings even in early August. The Dinosaur Trail starts near the park entrance and follows the lower shoreline of the lake before crossing the dam to the opposite side. The dinosaur tracks were uncovered during a particularly wet year when the water overflowed the lake into an emergency spillway, the floodwaters uncovering nearly 500 dinosaur tracks of the Lower Cretaceous Period, roughly 100 million years ago. There is a small kiosk with interpretive signs describing the history of the site, a boardwalk guiding you through the trackways (and protecting them from being damaged by foot traffic). The tracks include distinctive 3-toed meat-eating dinosaur footprints and more rounded footprints of herbivorous iguanodonts. The signage is very informative and adds to the site, which is apparently among the 10 most significant dinosaur trackway sites in North America! Great for kids, but there is little shade on the trail. Even in August the temps were comfortable in the morning hours before 11 AM.

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