So today we’re up here on Fisher Mesa at the
Bull Canyon Dinasour Tracks site, about an hour outside of Moab, Utah and it’s a pretty
unique site. We have a dramatic setting here but the really
neat thing that people can come up and experience is to actually see dinosaur tracks.
And tracks were actually made by dinosaurs a long long time ago.
The species, or the dinosaurs that were here, were Theropods, or three-toed tracks, and
they’re all throughout this forested area. And we just like people to come up and enjoy
their public lands and their National Forest system and see the amazing resources we have
out here. The primary thing is the tracks, here, but
there’s also great views of the La-Sal Mountains and often the Fisher Valley, as well.
So, here we are at one of the better preserved tracks at this site.
This is the one people really come up to look for because its very obvious, it’s three-toed,
dinosaur track. You can come right up.
You know, we don’t want people stepping on it or putting plaster in it, but you can get
real close up close and see the actual track here.
It’s pretty amazing to think that this was the animal that created this was here 200
million years ago, stepping in mud in a shallow ocean is what we think it looked like back
then. But it’s just kind of mind-blowing to think
about the deep time that how long ago that happened and what kind of animal it was and
how different the landscape looked at the time.
So here we are at another set of tracks, on the edge of Fisher Mesa, right on the very
edge of Fisher Mesa, here, now. These tracks aren’t as well-defined, but they’re
in a very dramatic location. So you can actually see these; they look like
they’re walking right off the cliff edge. So a lot of people come up here and ask, “Well
why would these dinosaurs walk off a cliff?” One of the amazing things about this site
is, this is such an old site, you know, it didn’t look like this at all when these tracks
were made. This canyon, that’s out here, was not here.
This was a shallow sea. And the mountains behind us are actually about
28 million years old and the tracks are 200 million years old.
So the tracks are much older than the mountains even here and that’s kind of a very dramatic,
mind-blowing thing to think about with that deep time and how old these tracks actually
are. One of the things we also are trying to get
people to teach people about here is the dinosaur tracks, themselves.
As they walk off the cliff, they appear to walk off the cliff, but one of things we’ve
been talking about is in some ways they actually did walk off the cliff because these dinosaurs,
the Theropods, were the ones that eventually became modern day birds.
And this is also a site where we see of Redtail Hawks, and different raptors catching Thermals,
here, on the cliff edge. So it’s a really unique site to be able to
come up and see these tracks walk off the cliff edge and then see their descendents
flying off the cliff, here, in the form of hawks and birds.
So Bull Canyon Dinosaur Tracks Interpreted site and Overlook is approximately an hour
drive from Moab. One of the most scenic drives in the state
of Utah. You just leave Moab and come up the Colorado
River and then up Castle Valley and up the Gateway road.
It’s all paved to this site and the trail to access the tracks is a couple hundred feet.
So it’s a very easy trail, graveled trail, and well-marked with interpretive signs.
So we just want to invite people, the public, to come up and enjoy their public lands and
see a really unique resource on the Manti-La Sal National Forest.