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I’ve wanted to hike to the Kanab dinosaur tracks since I found out about them last year. It’s a short hike but we just never stopped for it.
When my parents came to visit, I figured we’d try and squeeze it in, and we did! And boy was it something. I had absolutely no idea what to expect here.
Nothing that I saw really showed or explained what you were climbing up to see these dinosaur tracks. And if it did, I somehow missed it. Or saw it and didn’t think it would be as, uh, vertical as it was.
And Google Maps didn’t help either. Mine is set to satellite view (I have no idea how/when.why it changed, but it did) and even then I couldn’t tell what this terrain was like.
The day we did this we stopped at Catstair Canyon first. That was a pretty easy hike and this was, uhh, less easy. Wee pulled in and saw another couple heading up at the same time.
Also, that mesa/hill/whatever you want to call that, is what you’re climbing up. The tracks are in the stone on top of it. And there a thousand ways to the top.
I kind of watched to see where they go and it seemed like they got up there so fast! Right away, the trail goes at least two directions (~foreshadowing~) and we went left. Right would have been easier.
Between that fork and the base of the cliff, there were more small forks, but we made our way over just fine. It’s easier down here than up farther.
We started up the cliff and the trail starts out fairly easy to follow. But as you go further along and higher up, its fork after for after fork. As you get to these, its basically deciding which path is easier for you.
The other people we saw took a totally different way than use. And we went up a different way than we went down. On the way up we went to the front of the mesa, closest to the road, and sort of around the other side of until until we got to the top.
Up at the top, you’ll be able to see the dinosaur tracks with a nice view of Hog Canyon and the parking area. I think I counted at least seven tracks, some easier to see than others.
We spent a few minutes at the top before facing the trek back down. Instead of going down the way we came, we went down on the front left, closest to the road.
This probably would have been easier to get up, but honestly who knows. The hike down didn’t feel as intimidating as the way up, but I’m not sure why. We easily met up with the trail at one of the forks from the way up.
At that one we went right going up. Should have gone left. I’ll make note of that in the picture I have of that fork. I’m not sure if it will help much but I will.
It really is just about finding the way that’s easiest for you. I think we tended to take the right at forks but I would just look ahead both directions and decide at each one which looked easier.
I wouldn’t say this is a must-do Utah hike, by any means, but if you don’t mind rock scrambling and like dinosaur tracks, it’s a quick and easy-ish hike right on the side of the highway.
If you’re going to hike to the Moqui Caverns, too, this is right along the way. Both are short hikes and you could easily do both in probably two hours. These two plus Catstair Canyon and Belly of the Dragon are all good short roadside hikes in the area.
Things to keep in mind when visiting dinosaur sites:
- Don’t take the bones. I shouldn’t have to say this, but I do because people have dug out some of them. While there aren’t any marked here that I’m aware of, if you do find some, leave them where they are.
- Just look at the tracks, don’t fill them with water. While it makes them easier to see, it can damage the tracks.
- If you find artifacts, do not take them. Leave them where they are and just take pictures.
- And finally, don’t carve in or write on the rocks! I don’t want to have to say this, but I need do.
Where are the Kanab dinosaur tracks?
The dinosaur tracks trail is about three miles north of Kanab on Highway 89. From here, on the right side of the highway you’ll see the Utah Port of Entry, the trailhead is here.
Park at the far right end (if you were look at it from across the street, it’s the end of the parking lot you come to first from Kanab.) There is a port-a-potty on the end you should park at.
Starting right from here, there is more than one trail to follow. Walk between the cement barrier and the port-a-potty and head straight, then at the base of the cliff go left. You’ll see the trail going up on the right.
How long is the hike to the Kanab dinosaur tracks?
It’s pretty short, less than a mile. AllTrails says it’s 0.7 miles, we hiked 0.8. There are quite a few ways up and down so this may vary slightly but it’s overall a shorter hike.
Is the Kanab dinosaur track trail hard?
Yes and no. It’s not very easy to follow because there are like, 20 different ways to get to the top of this thing, and none of them are marked. It’s mostly about finding the path of least resistance or whatever is easiest for you.
It’s also pretty steep and rocky, so you need to watch your footing. I’m pretty used to rock scrambling and this was more annoying than anything because there are so many ways up and down, but if you’re not used to loose rock on steep trails, it may be a little more difficult.
It felt a lot scarier on the way up compared to the way down which was kind of weird. I did this one with my parents and they did not like it at all on the way up. Like, at. all.
It’s short and doesn’t take long to do the whole thing. I would say it’s mostly easy but if you don’t like heights, I would skip this one for sure. I didn’t think the actual hiking was that hard but finding the best route was a little difficult. AllTrails does rate it as moderate.
Are the Kanab dinosaur tracks worth it?
Eh. If you love, love, love dinosaur tracks, yes, but overall, it’s just fine. It has good views from the top of the road below and Hog Canyon but I like other dinosaur tracks more.
If you’re in the area and want to see some if you haven’t before, then it’s worth it. It doesn’t take too long which is nice so it would be easy to squeeze into a Kanab weekend getaway, on a day trip from Zion, or a day trip to Kanab from Page.
Want to read about dinosaurs before your trip? Check out some of these books!
- The Sixth Extinction
- The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs
- Jurassic Park
- The Tyrannosaur Chronicles
- The Dinosaur Artist
Dinosaur Track Trail photo gallery
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Have you hiked the dinosaur tracks trail in Kanab? What did you think of it? Do you want to go?