South Llano River State Park and Dinosaur Valley State Park

If you are looking for parks to camp with the kids this Spring Break I have two great choices for you.  Be sure to call ahead for reservations, the sooner the better, these are very popular parks and will fill up for Spring Break.

My first suggestion is Dinosaur Valley State Park.  It will only take you 90 minutes or so to drive to Glen Rose, Texas where the park is located, from the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, a big plus with a carload of kids.

My second suggestion is the South Llano River State Park out near Junction, Texas.  Now this park will take you approximately 6 hours travel time but it is well worth the trip.

We recently visited both of these parks.  Here is the information you need to know.

Dinosaur Valley State Park as well as being a Texas State Park has been designated a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service.  The park itself is a roomy 1,523 acres of natural wonder.  Camping with water and electric hook-ups is limited to one camping loop with 46 designated campsites.  All are equipped with grills and fire rings.  A restroom with hot showers is located in the camping loop and a trailer dump station is available.  There are 7 walk-in primitive sites for camping in the North Primitive Camping Area.  Start your visit to the park with a photo op at the Dinosaur Models at the entrance.  They are fiberglass models of the Tyrannosaurus Rex standing at 45 foot next to the gigantic 70 foot Apatosaurus, also called Brontosaurus built for exhibit at the New York City World’s Fair in 1964.  They were donated to the park in 1970.  Now go and look for the dinosaur tracks in the park belonging to relatives of these two dinosaurs.  There are 4 dinosaur track viewing areas here on the banks of the Paluxy River.  The Paluxy River is a tributary of the Brazos River.  The dinosaur tracks are exposed at various places in the streambed.  Track Site #1, named The Blue Hole hosts an old-time swimming hole ranging in depth from 12-21 feet.  Track Site #2 contains numerous three-toed carnivorous dinosaur tracks.  You can hop right across the rocks in the river to the right side to view the best of them. After you visit sites #3 and #4 head back up to the visitors center to put it all in perspective. The roomy exhibit hall contains a large relief map, models, drawings and interpretive displays on the history of the area and the dinosaurs.  If you are still craving activity there are 12 miles of scenic hike and bike trails easily enjoyed in 1-2 mile segments.  The South Primitive area of the park has 100 acres reserved for equestrian recreation.  There are no marked trails in this area.

Admission to the park is $5 per person, daily, for those age 13 and older.  Purchase an annual Texas State Park Pass for $60 per card or $75 for a two-card membership and the daily admission fee is waived.  Water and electric campsites will cost you $25 per night.  The North Primitive Camping Area fee is $15 per night.

www.tpwd.state.tx.us/parks

254-897-4588

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South Llano River State Park

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