8 routes · Hiking
Dinosaur Valley State Park: Overlook Trail Loop
The perfect hike to enjoy dinosaur tracks alongside the river and great views from the Overlook Trail.
- 6.5 km
- 123 m
- 123 m
- 1-2 hrs
- Low Point
- 201 m
- High Point
- 261 m
Dinosaur Valley State Park is, hands-down, one of the most unique, historic, and scenic state parks to visit within a day trip of Dallas. Remote, rocky singletrack trades places with limestone ledges and riverside trails for a stunning hike through some of the region's best-maintained trails. Along the way, you'll enjoy panoramic views, short climbs, and unadulterated hillside flora, plus dinosaur tracks can be seen along the shores and bottom of the Paluxy River.
This hike begins across from the Dinosaur Valley State Park Store, just a moment from the park's main entrance. Both water and restrooms are available nearby. The parking area also provides access to the park's iconic Blue Hole, a swimming hole on the Paluxy River lined with dinosaur tracks. Even if you don't want to venture far for a hike, it's less than 5-minutes to the river from this parking area.
Importantly to this hike, there are two major crossings of the Paluxy River that will likely require you to get your feet or legs wet. During times of drought, you can often hop between boulders and cross the river with ease. After heavy or consistent rain, however, the crossings may be dangerous, and the trails may even close if the park deems them unsafe to access or too wet. As such, this is an excellent area to enjoy during the warmer summer months since you can cool off in the river after your hike.
After crossing the river near the Blue Hole, this hike continues onto the Cedar Brake Loop, then Overlook Trail, before running along the Limestone Ledges Trail. As the name would suggest, the Overlook Trail provides a spectacular view of a bend in the river. The overlook also hosts plenty of unique southwestern flora, and you may even spot a selection of birds depending on the time of year.
As with most Texas State Parks, a small fee is required to enter, or you could obtain a Texas State Parks Pass if you plan to visit any of the other state parks within Texas.
Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.
Best time to visit
- Summit Hike
- Dog friendly
- Wild flowers
- Water features
- Family friendly
- Forestry or heavy vegetation