Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracksite Trail

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Moab, Utah

Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracksite Trail is a 0.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Moab, Utah that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 0.3 miles Elevation Gain: 68 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

90 million years ago the area around what is now Moab was covered in huge sand dunes. Between dune fields were scattered flat areas of wet sand, shallow ponds, and small streams. Dinosaurs crossed these flats and left their footprints, which were sometimes then covered by the shifting dunes and preserved intact. Millions of years later, after the sands had turned to stone, blocks containing the tracks have fallen out of the cliffs above and split along the bedding planes, exposing the tracks to the sun once again. Two rock slabs with footprints are visible from the parking lot, one at the base of the cliffs and another halfway down the slope, just above the cliff that drops down to the road. The lower of these slabs contains the tracks of at least 10 different meat-eating dinosaurs, ranging in size from 17 inches to nearly 5 feet at the hips. All the animals appear to have been walking at speeds of around 3 miles/hour. The parking lot and the lower slopes here are on the Kayenta Formation, but the blocks with the tracks on them have fallen down from the overlying Navajo Sandstone cliffs.

hiking
no shade
scramble
3 months ago

A very nice surprise. Had no idea this kind of stuff was in Moab. Saw dino tracks and petroglyphs. Have to scramble to get up to the slab with the first dino tracks, then scramble again to the top of the trail to see petroglyphs. Go left and there are more dino tracks. The trailhead shares the parking lot with the Poison Spider Mesa off-road recreation area, so expect a lot of engine noise from those vehicles.

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Th is hike was SO FUN! It starts at the North end of the poison spider mesa parking lot. Going up, the trail is pretty straightforward. There is a small scramble section, but it really is not bad. My 7 year old daughter cruised up it, as did a couple with 2 dogs. It is very easy to come down as well. The petroglyphs are up at the top, beyond the first dinosaur slab, at the base of the cliff. The trail going up there was less marked, but you can basically just scramble. Once you get to the petroglyphs, the trail head in towards the cliffs and descends a little to meet up with the longbow arch trail. It was maybe 10 minutes from the petroglyphs to the arch. The trail down is a little harder to find, but you are always in view of the parking lot.

hiking
8 months ago

We saw tracks on two rocks, the second rock being quite impressive. There were signs saying to stay on trail however it was almost impossible to tell where the trail actually was. Had no idea how to get to whatever area the petroglyphs were in.

hiking
9 months ago

My teenaged kids LOVED this trail. Keep a look out for fossilized coral, mud and sea life. Lots of scrambling, and we definitely needed our trekking poles to provide stability between rocks and climbing up/down. If you have Dino-loving kids or adults in your group, this is a great spot to spend an hour or two.

hiking
rocky
scramble
10 months ago

AmaZing hike! Felt like locals only spot! We were the only people on the trail this morning the whole time. Last human tracks were probably from yesterday and it looked like one or two people. Other small snake tracks, bird tracks and small rodents definitely there. Started around 9:30 and spent 45 mins at the top in nature so we made it down at 12. Some easy spots but a bit technically challenging in others. Some places go through loose sand, which slows you down, and others across slickrock where it was hard to tell where the trail was. There are green paint spots to follow - easier to follow going up than down and we backtracked a couple times going down - helped to have all trails app running to double check. Some of the green paint is chipping away and needs to be updated. There are also cairns (stacks of rocks) in a few spots to guide you. Some parts you have to scale a steep rock with metal hand holds and other parts are steep sandstone where you have to use your hands and climb and scale carefully back down. If you’re a climber or you want to be on your own then this hike is your jam! Really cool arch against the rock face at the end.

hiking
Wed May 29 2019

Says dog friendly, but requires some scrambling up rocks for them. My girl couldn’t make it up the rock even to the petroglyphs. Still cool to see some of that history though!

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
Tue May 28 2019

Not my favorite trail but it’s okay. Trail to the dinosaur/rock art was confusing and not marked well. Rocks were also a bit of a scramble.

hiking
rocky
scramble
Mon May 27 2019

Tue Apr 23 2019

trail is not marked. some parts require climbing boulders hard for little kids

hiking
Sun Apr 21 2019

I like it, I love it, I want some more of it.

hiking
Sun Mar 31 2019

Great quick stop to see Dino tracks. Worth it to continue on the Longbow trail if you have more time.

Wed Mar 27 2019

Must do and see. Petroglyphs are a must see, even better than the Dino Tracks. Hike was fairly easy.

hiking
rocky
scramble
Sun Mar 17 2019

This super short trail is a great introduction the the geology and archaeology of the area. You see several dinosaurs tracks and clear pictographs and petroglyphs on the rock wall. The trail is hard to follow so it kind of becomes a scramble to get up high enough to see them. For a longer hike, I’d recommend doing the Longbow Arch trail which branches off from the petroglyph trail. Pretty views and a cool arch at the end.

hiking
Sat Mar 09 2019

Really cool dinosaur tracks, as well as petroglyphs visible higher on the cliff. Some heights toward the end, but worth it.

hiking
Wed Jan 30 2019

This is a tiny little outing but cool to see tracks and rock art in the same place. Trail is not well marked but you aren’t going to get lost on a half mile trail where can see your car most of the time!

Wed Jan 23 2019

the tracks and petroglyphs were interesting to look at and the site had a really nice parking lot and bathroom. the trail itself was not clearly defined. it was a little tricky to find the dinosaur tracks and then even more difficult to find the petroglyphs. lots of crumbly rocks which made for bad footing while already positioned on the edge of a cliff. glad I did it, but wouldn't do it again.

hiking
Thu Jan 10 2019

This trail is definitely worth stopping for and would be a full five stars if the trail was better defined. The trail is hard to find but it’s pretty easy to make your own trail up to the dinosaur tracks and the petroglyphs. Both were amazing, although the descriptions for both are at the parking lot - be sure to read these! Very interesting.

hiking
Wed Nov 21 2018

The trail was steep but doable for our 8 year old. The petroglyphs were great and there was a good spot in front of them to stop and sketch. Lots of people on this trail today.

hiking
Sat Sep 29 2018

Did this short trail as part of the hike to Long Bow, it is rocky and a bit of a climb to see the tracks, make sure you continue on to see the petroglyphs to the left of the Dino tracks.

Thu Aug 02 2018

PSA: This is not a great trail for kids under 8 or 10. The signage isn’t terribly clear and the trail is rough. Our 4 year old did make the trip but it was tough going. In retrospect I would never have done this with her— could totally see a broken wrist/arm/ankle situation.

The petroglyphs are a must see! Very short and easy hike up to see them. My wife and I really enjoyed this as it was something we have never experienced before.

Tue Jul 17 2018

I visited a few years ago. It's a fun climb to the tracks, and to the rock art a little higher up. Also, we found more dinosaur tracks on a stone slab to the left of the rock art. I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else. Enjoy!

Thu Jun 21 2018

really cool but you have to climb up to see the dinosaur tracks. there is a sign and a rock that has the tracks but it is up on this overlook. kinda steep. Cool tho!

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