Oct 18, 2022 - News

Where to find Austin-area dinosaur tracks

Ancient dinosaur tracks visible in the San Gabriel riverbed, northwest of Austin. Photo: Asher Price/Axios

We recently headed to the Leander dinosaur tracks, located in a very pretty bend in the bed of the San Gabriel River.

What it is: About a half-dozen impressions of three-toed dinosaur tracks baked into the hard limestone and exposed now because of drought.

  • Scientists say they may have belonged to acrocanthosaurus, a roughly four-ton, T-Rex-like predator who roamed these parts more than 100 million years ago.
  • The footprints are so perfect they almost look fake.

Speaking of: There are some round impressions in the riverbed that some people say are also dino prints.

  • You'll find yourself looking at shapes in the limestone as if you're divining forms in the clouds.

Keeping it real: It's very urban adventure-y. You park by a highway construction site and head down a gravel scramble before cutting through some tall grasses to the smooth-rock river bed — about a 20-minute walk each way. It's easy enough even for little kids.

If you go: Park on the shoulder of Green Valley Drive, right across from the ARC Abatement offices.

  • Pro tip: Make sure to bring water and some snacks — there's a nice limestone ledge just by the tracks, perfect for a mini-picnic.

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