Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Tracksite

Phone:
Address:

Kanab Field Office 669 S Highway 89A Kanab, UT 84741

Latitude/Longitude:
37.0025036, -112.8137168
Directions:

From the Kanab Visitor Center (BLM) in Kanab, UT, turn right onto Highway 89. Take Highway 89 through Kanab and continue as it heads north. After 8.9 miles, turn left onto Hancock Road. Follow Hancock Road for 9.4 miles to its intersection with County Road 43/Yellowjacket Road. Turn left onto County Road 43 and drive 6.8 miles before reaching a parking area on the left-hand side of the road. Take BLM30 as it extends south of the parking area. After roughly 0.4 miles, stay left at the “Y” to continue on BLM30. After another 1.5 miles, the upper parking area appears on the left-hand side of the road. Park here or drive down the slope to park at the lower parking area by the interpretive signs. Do not drive past this point. BLM30 requires 4-wheel-drive and high clearance.

HIKING
PHOTOGRAPHY

Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Tracksite

The Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Tracksite contains one of the highest diversities of fossilized vertebrate tracks in North America. Hundreds of tracks from at least five different dinosaur species have been preserved since the Early Jurassic period approximately 180 million years as the site changed from an oasis in a Sahara-like desert to the colorful Navajo sandstone found today. Footprints from Kayentapus, Grallator, Otozoum, Batrachopus, and Brasilichnium have been revealed by the erosion of layers of the sedimentary sandstone.

To reach the tracks from the lower parking area and interpretive display, hike around the vehicle barricade and continue west down the short drainage. When the drainage reaches a pour off roughly 180 yards (165 meters) from the barricade, hike up the slope to the right (north). Keep a close eye on the ground as you wander this area and wait for the tracks to start to stand out from the surrounding sandstone. Visitors often find that tracks become easier to spot after spending some time in the site; on the return hike, you may be surprised to find that you walked by several tracks without noticing them.

Although these tracks have survived for millions of years, they are fragile and easily damaged. Park at the interpretive signs or at the upper parking area – do not drive on the tracks. As you explore, avoid walking directly on the tracks, especially if the sandstone is wet. Fossils like these are legally protected national treasures; doing anything that might damage them is against federal law. This includes making molds or casts of the footprints or attempting to remove the tracks from the sandstone.

The Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Tracksite is open to foot traffic only. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not allowed past the parking areas. Dogs are allowed, but their waste must be packed out. There are two small parking areas: an upper area delineated by a rail fence that allows drivers to avoid dropping into (and getting back out of) the drainage; and a lower parking area in the drainage by the interpretive signs, which is best suited for true off-highway vehicles. Amenities at the site are limited to the parking areas and the interpretive signs. Brochures and a children’s activity handout are available at the Kanab Visitor Center (BLM) in Kanab, UT. The visitor center also has maps and information about visiting the site.

The road to the Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Tracksite has sections of deep sand. Only experienced drivers with four-wheel drive high clearance vehicles should attempt to drive to the site. Road conditions are especially challenging when the sand is dry.