You'll see three sets of dinosaur tracks in less than a mile on this hike in Moab, Utah.
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Dinosaur Foot Prints at Poison Spider Trailhead, Moab, Utah
Credit: Matthew Miller/Getty Images

There's nothing like spring in the Utah desert. While much of the country is just starting to thaw, the weather in eastern Utah is warm and sunny. The desert's springtime weather window — before the heat of summer kicks in — is the perfect time to visit Moab, an outdoor-lover's paradise that's perfectly situated between two of the state's best national parks: Arches and Canyonlands.

In addition to great weather and easy national park access, Moab is known for its palaeontological history, a history that's dominated by the dinosaurs that once roamed the land. And one of the best ways to see remnants of the dinosaurs for yourself is to hike the aptly named Copper Ridge Dinosaur Tracks Trail just north of town.

A shadow of human hand over fossilized dinosaur footprint
Credit: Getty Images
Person walking along Dinosaur Tracks Trail
Credit: Getty Images

The hike leads to an open-air museum (no entrance fee required) with three sets of well-preserved dinosaur tracks dating back to the Jurassic period. One set is thought to belong to a long-neck dinosaur (likely a Camarasaurus, Apatosaurus, or Diplodocus) and the other two are from different-sized meat-eating dinosaurs, one being the T-Rex-like Allosaurus. The prints are visible today because they were made on a muddy sandbar and buried with water and sediment. Over millions of years, they hardened into sandstone and were later brought to the surface by erosion.

The Copper Ridge Dinosaur Tracks Trail is an easy 0.3-mile, out-and-back trail set above the Colorado River. The journey takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the amount of time you spend inspecting the trackways and reading the informational signs. The trail is open year-round, but is best undertaken in the spring when the weather is cool and the ground is dry. Dogs are welcome, but should be leashed.

For more dinosaur tracks, visit the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite and Bone Trail, Willow Springs Dinosaur Tracksite, and the Bull Canyon Overlook Dinosaur Tracksite, all in the Moab area. And learn more about these in-the-footsteps-of-dinosaurs experiences here.