It’s hard to imagine the deserts of sunny St. George were once a shoreline where Lake Dixie supported an ecosystem of dinosaurs, fish, small reptiles, plant life, and crocodile-like reptiles. The good news is, you can visit attractions nearby where you and your family will literally step into the 200 million-year-old ecosystem and discover a world of St. George you’ve never seen before. These attractions are great for children of all ages, all being splash pads, interactive museums, or short hikes!
Here are our top 6 attractions you must visit:
1-Red Hills Desert Garden
This is Utah’s first desert conservation garden. The 5-acre garden features a replica slot canyon and prehistoric dinosaur tracks found onsite dating back 200 million years! It also features 5,000 water-efficient plants, and a 1,150-foot stream stocked with native and endangered fish species. Free of admission, and open daily 6am-10pm, this is a great stop to make to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Well-kept restrooms onsite as well.
Address: 1851 South Dixie Drive
Not only does this park have a splash pad, but it has a dinosaur-themed playground including a climbing wall, a C.P. Huntington ¼-scale train on a 2,700-foot track, and an “erupting” volcano booming every 45 minutes. Free admission, and the train only costs $1.00 per ride! This is an all-abilities park that’s located inside Tonaquint Park. Open 7 days a week, 9am-10pm, this dino-park is sure to be a hit with your young kiddos!
3-Dino Cliffs Dinosaur Tracks Hike
Address: Red Cliffs Desert Reserve
See Dinosaur tracks in the wild! This short hike is great for families and children of all ages! Ending up being about .5 miles round-trip, the average hike time is 15-35 minutes. At the beginning of the hike you’ll enter a sandy trail, as you bottom out of the trail, you will see a large slate rock surface. In the hardened rock you can find 17 well preserved dinosaur tracks all from different dinosaurs! Get out there and enjoy some fresh air while marveling at historic fossils. This hike is dog friendly, and parking is available at trailhead.
4-St. George Children’s Museum
17 Different exhibits including the “Prehistoric Room”, make this museum absolutely unbeatable! Children are able to touch and feel fossils, footprints, and even climb onto a life-sized Triceratops. This museum is located right in the heart of downtown St. George, in Town Square. The perfect location where you can walk to many restaurants and shops nearby. Open 10am-5pm Monday-Saturday. Spend a nice afternoon at the museum and walk to dinner and ice cream after.
5- St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site
Walk with Dinosaurs and see thousands of fossilized dinosaur footprints at the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site. Life-sized models of prehistoric animals, the working fossil preparation lab, and a boardwalk allowing you to get up close and personal with an intact track surface are just a few of the exhibits to get excited about. They also offer an outdoor Dino Park, where you will find a sandbox, a climb-on dinosaur, along with picnic tables and their “Walk Through Time” exhibit. Open Monday-Sunday 10am-6pm.
6- Warner Valley Dinosaur Tracks
Address: Hurricane, UT 84737
The Warner Valley Dinosaur tracks are some of the most impressive tracks in the area. With over 400 fossilized tracks, there are at least three different types of Dinosaur tracks evident in the rock. This is an easy hike, its distance ends up being only .4 miles round-trip, so your hiking time is about 30 minutes. Great for keeping your little ones entertained without exhausting the whole family. Pack some snacks and have a picnic next to historic fossils! Parking at trailhead.