Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dinosaur Tracks in Tuba City Arizona

A fun thing to do with your  family is to take them to Tuba City Arizona and take a tour of the Dinosaur Tracks on the Navajo Indian Reservation.  It's free but they request a donation.  Don gave them $20.00 for our family of four.  The site is located on the north side of US Hwy 160, five miles east of US Hwy 89 or a little over five miles west of the turnoff for Tuba City. Turn north onto the dirt track, then drive about a quarter-mile.

Dennis, a native Indian and born in the area, was our guide.  He seemed knowledgeable and was very friendly.  He answered our questions and was patient with our kids who wanted to climb all over everything.  They encourage you to touch and walk around.  They also allow you to pick up rocks (lots of Red Agate and petrified wood)  and small things (like dinosaure poop-corporlite splaters, YUK!) and keep them. 

Supposedly a "baby" T-rex footprint.

This natural site contains many lower Jurassic theropod tracks. A site that describes Dinosaur Tracks in much more detail and has a link to Tuba City and other tracking sites is

Another thing about this spot is the native made jewelry and crafts that are for sale at the roadside stands. The stands are rough made wooden stands, some refer to them as vending tables,  but the crafts are beautiful.  They encourage you to touch and the jewelry is usually made from local stones or ones imported from not too far away. The prices are reasonable too and you can usually work a deal.
The people are very kind and friendly.  It was a pleasure to talk with them.

Apparently this area was at one time a huge lake and as it receded the animals would come to the edge for drinks.  The soft mud around the water was littered with droppings, foot prints, and foliage that was pressed down into it.  Evidence of this was everywhere. Our guide told us that as the winds were very strong there the sandstone was bombarded and eroded away leaving impressions of prints, leaves, and fossilized and petrified eggs, wood, and bones.

The tour was fun though I was chasing my grandsons most of the time.  They loved it.  So I didn't get to hear much of what our guide was saying.  He did tell us that through out his wonderings as a kid he discovered a lot of fun things like ripples in sandstone left by the water, foot prints that they believed to be Anasazi Indians, and foliage imbedded into the sandstone. 
Dinosaur Tail

 As we were on our way to California and under a time crunch we didn't get to hang out there as long as we would have liked.  I do plan on going back and spending longer looking around.  I thought it was fasinating to see and enjoyed it very much.

Pre-historic Fish Egg.

Davy touching a pre-historic fish egg.

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