dinosaur valley

#hike31 - Dinosaur Valley State Park


Date: November 17, 2018

Location: Dinosaur Valley State Park

Distance:  4 Miles

Trails: Equestrian Trails


This is only a week late… or more.

My aunt and I did another few miles at Dino Valley. We were, again, restricted to trails on the main side of the river so we did the equestrian trail that goes up in to the hillside and through a field. It was pleasant and not busy at all. We made our way along the river, through the campground, and back to the car.

#hike30 - Dinosaur Valley State Park


Date: November 10, 2018

Location: Dinosaur Valley State Park

Distance:  3 miles

Trails: Paluxy River


My aunt and I were restricted to the trails on the main side, as the majority of the trails across the river were closed. We made the best of it, hiking along the river on the main side enjoying little viewpoints and a mix of trails/paved paths. Our hikes together often include our chats which are usually hilarious for us. The leaves had some color, the trees sky was overcast, and the air was crisp and cold. It wasn’t the longest hike, but it was fulfilling and nice to get out again. I’m a little behind with this year, but I will see it through the best I can!

#hike24 - Dinosaur Valley State Park

Date: July 22, 2018

Location: Dinosaur Valley State Park - Glen Rose, TX

Distance: 4.3 miles

Trails: Cedar Brake Outer Loop (partial), Cedar Ridge

See the trail map HERE

Today's hike at Dinosaur Valley did not include wet feet, cool temps, or many interactions with people.  The hike did include nice breezes, solitude, and plenty of sunshine.  I had a late start this morning, due to staying up way too late, and I was ready to call the whole thing off.  Then, I saw some inspiring words on social media, went for it.  It was 7:45 am when I left the house, arriving at the park around 8:30.  The temps were just below 90 at this point, but still tolerable with the breeze and shade.  As I made my way through my familiar trail, it started to warm up and the flies became more aggressive.  By the time I was done, the temp had climbed to nearly 100.

This week I braved the temperature, embraced the sweat, and said screw the bad vibes.  I often get in my own way, mentally speaking, about going out for a hike in the summer.  It is hot, it is buggy, it is dry, and it is excessively sunny.  Today proved that I can survive and adapt, quite easily actually, so it is as if I cleared this road block for future hikes this summer.  No more excuses!  Sweat wicking shirts, hats, ice cubes in my CamelBak, sunscreen, and bug spray are all I need.

I’m looking forward to next week’s hike, wherever it may be.  We are throwing around the idea of going to New Mexico, but the forecast is currently rainy.  If you have a suggestion that’s within 10 hours of Dallas/Fort Worth, hit me up!  Happy trails!

#hike23 - Dinosaur Valley State Park

Crossing the Paluxy River to start our hike.

Date: July 14, 2018

Location: Dinosaur Valley State Park - Glen Rose, TX

Distance: 5 miles

Trails: Cedar Brake Outer Loop (partial), Denio Creek Warbler Trail. Paluxy River Trail

See the trail map HERE

We started early, my aunt and I, and got to the park about 7:00 A.M.  We registered, parked, and started our hike in 79 degree weather with about 79% humidity.  At Dinosaur Valley State Park you have to cross the river to get to the good trails, but the Paluxy was only a trickle so we didn't have to get wet this time.

I like hikes with my aunt, or other close friends/family, because you can have those good talks that I'd classify as quality time.  We talked, bitched about things, laughed, and overall had a very positive ongoing conversation about life.

The sun climbed higher in the sky, and we started to feel the heat increase while simultaneously feeling perfectly acclimated to the temperature.  About halfway through the hike, we encountered some bugs and that was mildly annoying, but no other real issues.  I have one horse fly bite, that I didn't even notice until today.

We finished up after five miles, before the real heat hit with a slightly lower humidity, and made our way back to the parking area.  We avoided most direct sunlight by picking trails that were shaded by the ridges and scrubby trees thus avoiding excessive exposure.  We saw one woman on a mountain bike, but really no one else dared to be out there with us that we could see or hear.  Once we arrived back to the parking lot, there were a few more cars, but nowhere near the normal packed lot I'm used to seeing.

Summer hiking, in Texas, is not my favorite and I'm at least a month behind on my quest to hike 52 times in the year with one per week....but I'm not worried.   Once the fall hits, I'll have no excuse to hike twice per weekend and maybe even twice per day!  I'm longing for the cooler mornings and evenings ahead.  Until next time, happy trails!

#hike19 - Dinosaur Valley State Park

"The old standby, always there for me when I need a good hike!"

Date: May 27, 2018

Location: Dinosaur Valley State Park - Glen Rose, TX

Distance: 5.0 miles

Trails: Cedar Brake, Paluxy River

I was visiting my family that lives near Glen Rose and decided I needed a morning hike, at least once, this weekend.  I stayed up way too late the night before, but eventually made my way to my cousin's place to pick up her fiancee and we hit the trails.

The parking lot at the entrance was a bit crowded, and the trailhead parking was busy because of group campers but the overall trail experience didn't include seeing more than three people in five miles.

The river was noticeably low and was not too difficult to cross.  We started around 8 am, in order to try and get a few miles in before the temps skyrocketed into uncomfortable territory.  We saw gorgeous flowers in bloom, cactus flowers, yucca flowers, and of course plenty of insects pollinating.  We hiked at a steady pace, had good conversation, and an overall enjoyable morning.  This hike was just what my body needed.

Overall, it was a satisfying hike with a new hiking partner.  On our way out, the line to get in the park was damn near 50 cars long, so I'm glad we got there when we did.  Here's to you, old standby, your views and trails are always worth it to me.  Happy trails!

#hike11 - Dinosaur Valley State Park

Date: March 24, 2018

Location: Dinosaur Valley State Park - Glen Rose, TX

Distance: 9.1 miles

Trails: Paluxy River & Cedar Brake Outer Loop (here's the map)

Previous Hike(s): January 2018

I woke up at 5am on a Saturday for a hike because I love to do it THAT much.  Personally, I love to start the day in the dark because as the light comes I feel as though the world is waking up with me.  Other perks about starting early include less traffic, less people, and it opens the day up for more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.

I got to the park as the sun was coming over the ridge, about 7:30am.  I was shocked to arrive and see a parking lot 75% full of cars, but soon realized it was some special camping event and it was overflow or something.  Other than a lady power walking along the river, I didn't have company on the trail until about mile five, and it was only a few people at first but towards the end there were groups and groups of people crossing the river and starting the trail.

I saw one bunny and more spiders than I can count.  It was nice in the winter, with less spiders, but they are back and webbing across the trails like crazy.  Most spiders I encountered were harmless, but the webs always feel a little weird when you don't see them and walk through.

Takeaways:

  • As I often suggest, start early.  In Texas (and other warm places) it's cooler, less crowded, and often worth it for the sunrise alone.
  • If you're becoming familiar with a place, and it's a small/moderate loop trail, go the opposite way and you may see things differently.

I did my video summary, as usual, but I didn't have the phone mounted.  Enjoy the shaky video and happy trails!

#hike1 - Dinosaur Valley State Park

Date: January 6, 2018

Location: Dinosaur Valley State Park - Glen Rose, TX

Distance: 9.55 miles

Trails: Cedar Brake Outer Loop, Paluxy River

I arrived at the park early, before the staff arrived, and checked in.  I left home in shorts, because it was nearly 40 degrees at home, but it was only 25 at the park so I had to change into the pants I brought along.  I was the only car in the parking lot upon arrive, and was one of ten when I left.  The crowds for this park don't usually show up until about 8-9 am, making early morning hikes fairly quiet and peaceful.  I made it 7.5 miles in before seeing anyone, but then it was more people than I could count.  For the first hike of the year, I wanted to "go big" with a longer hike.  I visited this park four times last year and did the same few trails each visit so this hike was also about exploring a part of the park I hadn't hiked in 2017.  Seeing new-to-me trails and the furthest corners of the park boundaries satisfied the need for a little adventure within.

I spent the majority of this hike reflecting on the hikes of 2017 and warming my hands.  Like an idiot, I didn't really plan well for the temperatures, despite my constant preaching of preparedness.  Halfway through the hike, I remembered having gloves in my pack and that was a great relief.  As I warmed my hands, I pondered what worked well last year and what I need to adjust to make the 2018 hikes even better.  Dinosaur Valley is becoming my new go-to park simply because I love the terrain and proximity to my family's home - can accomplish a visit and get a hike in.  All in all, it was a challenging and robust start to my hikes for 2018.

Dinosaur Valley State Park Tidbits:

  • almost all trails require crossing the Paluxy River - always check trail conditions on the park's Facebook page before heading out
  • the park has varied terrain - be sure to check out the trail map for more information
  • many trails are shaded, thought plenty have sunny portions so always bring enough water and wear sun protection
  • tourist attractions such as dinosaur track viewing areas and other dinosaur related businesses outside park boundaries exist for family fun before or after your hike
  • crowds are limited in cooler months, and earlier in the morning - I always try to get there around 7 am to enjoy some solitude

Here are some photos from the hike, enjoy and happy hiking!