The Dye Clan
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  • TR: Apr 2012

Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracks

A view of the Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracks pullout from the tracks.

The Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracks are located on two large boulders on the side of a hill near the beginning of the Poison Spider 4x4 road. The upper boulder has tracks of at least 10 different dinosaurs, including Allosaurus, Eubrontes, and Grallator.

190 million years ago, dinosaurs crossed the dune fields in the Moab area leaving their tracks in the damp sands. These tracks were fossilized by being rapidly covered by other dunes and preserved when the sand layers were converted to stone over time.

In the cliffs above, the tracks of at least 10 different meat-eating dinosaurs are preserved in blocks of Navajo Sandstone that have eroded from the cliffs above and fallen, splitting along the bedding planes that preserved them. Both the original tracks and the layer that filled them are present on the slabs.

The tracks here were made by Therapods including Allosaurus, Eubrontes, and Grallator. These 3-toed predator dinosaurs walked on two legs and used their arms for holding and grasping.

The tracks are of several sizes of dinosaurs walking at about 3 miles per hour in a damp area similar to modern beaches but with a subtle twist. Imagine a beach crowded with animals of various sized - but instead of seagulls and sand pipers there are meat eating lizards hunting and being hunted!

Please DO NOT take plaster casts of these dinosaur tracks!

Casting is ILLEGAL, and harms the tracks. The sandstone rocks that the tracks are in are very porous. Unlike trackways in harder stones, the sandstone absorbs the plaster and breaks off when the plaster is removed. Plaster casting is not allowed for this reason.

There are no guards or fences here. You, the visitor, are the protector of this valuable resource. Remember - (like the dinosaurs) leave only footprints - take only photographs.

Interactive Map

Download KML file to view in Google Earth.

Waypoints

Waypoint Latitude Longitude Description
Trailhead -109.6088669914147 38.53282538153028  
Dinosaur Tracks -109.6078616468097 38.53353528978541  

Trip Report: April 12, 2012

Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracks
Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracks

This picture shows the location of the dinosaur tracks. The tracks are on a rock slab on the hill across the gully from the vault toilet. The easiest way to locate the tracks is to go back to the highway. To the right is a metal viewing pipe, and you will spot the tracks on the rock slab.

Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracks
Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracks
Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracks
Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracks
Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracks
Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracks
Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracks