Dinosaur Valley State Park

Coordinates: 32°15′11.7″N 97°49′6.91″W / 32.253250°N 97.8185861°W / 32.253250; -97.8185861
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Dinosaur Valley State Park
The Paluxy River with visible dinosaur tracks in Dinosaur Valley State Park
LocationSomervell County, Texas
Nearest cityGlen Rose, Texas
Coordinates32°15′11.7″N 97°49′6.91″W / 32.253250°N 97.8185861°W / 32.253250; -97.8185861
Area1,524.72 acres (6.1703 km2)
Visitors243,001 (in 2022)[1]
Governing bodyTexas Parks and Wildlife Department

Dinosaur Valley State Park is a state park near Glen Rose, Texas, United States.[2][3]


Dinosaur Valley State Park, located just northwest of Glen Rose in Somervell County, Texas, is a 1,524.72-acre (617 ha) scenic park set astride the Paluxy River. The land for the park was acquired from private owners under the State Parks Bonds Program during 1968 and opened to the public in 1972.[4] In addition to being a state park, it is also a National Natural Landmark.[5]

Eastward-dipping limestones, sandstones, and mudstones of the Glen Rose Formation were deposited during the early Cretaceous Period approximately 113 million years ago along the shorelines of an ancient sea, and form the geological setting for the park area. Over the last million years or so, these layered formations have been eroded, dissected and sculpted by the Paluxy River which, in many places, has cut down to resistant beds and planed off sizable exposures of rock in the river bottom.[4]


Near Dinosaur Valley State Park, in the limestone deposits along the Paluxy River, "twin sets" of tracks were found in the Glen Rose Formation as early as 1908. These footprints were once thought to be evidence that humans and non-avian dinosaurs lived at the same time, but now are identified to be created by dinosaurs.[6] However, young-Earth creationists continue to believe that humans and non-avian dinosaurs lived at the same time, a notion that is contrary to the standard view of the geological time scale. Biologist Massimo Pigliucci has noted that geologists in the 1980s "clearly demonstrated that no human being left those prints," but rather "they were in fact metatarsal dinosaur tracks, together with a few pure and simple fakes."[7]

The family of George Adams, who claimed to have found human footprints in the Glen Rose Formation, later admitted that Adams' and some others' fossil footprints were a hoax.[8] Zana Douglas, the granddaughter of George Adams, explained that during the 1930s' Great Depression her grandfather and other residents of Glen Rose made money by making moonshine and selling "dinosaur fossils".[8] The faux fossils brought $15 to $30 and when the supply ran low, they "just carved more, some with human footprints thrown in."[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Christopher Adams. "What is the most visited state park in Texas? Here's the top 10 countdown". KXAN.com. Retrieved November 21, 2023.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Dinosaur Valley State Park
  3. ^ List of Texas State Parks
  4. ^ a b "Texas Parks and Wildlife: Dinosaur Valley State Park". Archived from the original on June 22, 2005. Retrieved July 2, 2005.
  5. ^ "National Natural Landmarks - National Natural Landmarks (U.S. National Park Service)". www.nps.gov. Retrieved March 30, 2019. Year designated: 1968
  6. ^ Morris, John (May 2013). "Paluxy River: The Tale of the Trails". Acts & Facts. 42 (#5): 12–14.
  7. ^ Massimo Pigliucci, Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science, (Sinauer, 2002, page 246): ISBN 0-87893-659-9
  8. ^ a b c Kennedy, Bud (August 10, 2008). "Human footprints beside dinosaur tracks? Let's talk". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. p. B02.

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