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17 Free Dinosaur Valley State Park Boondocking Locations

Free Dinosaur Valley State Park Boondocking

Today, we want to tell you about our boondocking trip to Dinosaur Valley State Park State Park. Although it seems strange to assume that dinosaurs previously roamed this region of the world, the idea of standing where dinosaurs once roamed and where their footprints were found is what brings so many visitors to Texas’ incredible Dinosaur Valley State Park State Park year after year.
“Long ago, dinosaurs left tracks in the mud near the edge of an extinct ocean,” claims Texas Parks & Wildlife. In the Paluxy River’s bed, you can still tread in their footsteps today. Only a short drive separates Fort Worth from this extensive journey into the past.

An adventure is waiting to unfold is just outside Glen Rose, Texas, also known as the “Dinosaur Capital of Texas.” The 1,587-acre Dinosaur Valley State Park State Park, which borders the picturesque Paluxy River, is home to several dinosaur tracks left by the extinct Acrocanthosaurus and Sauroposeidon.

10 Free Dinosaur Valley State Park State Park Boondocking

1. Free Dinosaur Valley State Park Boondocking – De Cordova Bend Park

Granbury, Texas
GPS: 32.377085, -97.689584
Elevation: 696′

Brazos River Authority

First come first served very Dinosaur Valley State Park Boondocking spot on Lake Granbury with shopping near by. The road in is Paved. De Cordova Bend Park is open Year round. There are 30 or more campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 14 without long stay permit at De Cordova Bend Park.

Amenities:

ADA accessible
BBQ Grill
Boat Ramp
Pets Welcome
Picnic Tables
Restrooms
Trash Cans

2. Free Dinosaur Valley State Park Boondocking Locations – Rough Creek Park

2209 S. Morgan Granbury, TX
Granbury, Texas
GPS: 32.418446, -97.786685
Elevation: 699′

State Park

Nice camp sites in a small park at this Dinosaur Valley State Park Boondocking location. Bathrooms, boat ramp, fishing piers, grills, picnin tables and trash barrels. There are spots for about 20 tents that have a fence around them. There are spots for about 10 rvs. 2 back in, and the rest are pull thru. Everything you need is about 5 minutes away. There is some road noise. The road in is Paved. Rough Creek Park is open year round. There are 16-29 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 35 feet. You may stay 10 days at Rough Creek Park.

Amenities:

BBQ Grill
Boat Ramp
Near Water
Pets Welcome
Picnic Tables
Restrooms
Trash Cans

3. Dinosaur Valley State Park Camping Spots – Thorp Spring Park

2300 Lipan Highway
Granbury, Texas
GPS: 32.473465, -97.815487
Elevation: 696′

State Park

Nice quite park with 2 tent sites and enough room for about 3-5 RVs. Bathrooms, boat ramp, grills, picnic tables, and trash barrels. Dollar general within walking distance. No designated parking spots just a large paved parking area. The road in is Paved. Thorp Spring Park is open Year round. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 25 feet. You may stay 10 days at Thorp Spring Park.

Amenities:

BBQ Grill
Boat Ramp
Near Water
Pets Welcome
Picnic Tables
Restrooms
Trash Cans

4. Free Dinosaur Valley State Park Boondocking – Hunter Park

2800 Weatherford Hwy, Cleburne, TX
Granbury, Texas
GPS: 32.479331, -97.794003
Elevation: 712′

State Park

There are a handful of first come first served campsites. Follow the sign for boat access. Camping is free and park admission is free. There are flush toilets available. The road in is Paved. There are 1-5 campsites at this location.

Amenities:

BBQ Grill
Boat Ramp
Near Water
Picnic Tables
Restrooms
Activities:
Boating
Fishing

5. Free Dinosaur Valley State Park Boondocking Locations – Hico Picnic Area

Hico, Texas
GPS: 31.997595, -98.047979
Elevation: 1086′

Historic markers, BBQ pits awnings nice trees and free.

6. Dinosaur Valley State Park Camping Spots – Meridian Picnic Area

Meridian, Texas
GPS: 31.9091, -97.67734
Elevation: 994′

Very nice picnic area with picnic tables and awnings very clean. Enough pull off area to park multiple rv’s. Quiet and safe??

7. Free Dinosaur Valley State Park Boondocking – Steele Creek – Lake Whitney

Whitney, Texas
GPS: 32.006088, -97.45089
Elevation: 550′

Corps of Engineers

The COE Dinosaur Valley State Park Boondocking on Lake Whitney is excellent. Camping, picnicking, and boat launching facilities are free. Steele Creek Park has 21 camp/picnic sites with ground cookers. Water faucets are located throughout the park. There are two restrooms (with toilet facilities only) and two boat ramps in the park.The road in is Dirt. Steele Creek – Lake Whitney is open Year-round. There are 16-29 campsites at this location. You may stay 14 Nights at Steele Creek – Lake Whitney.

Amenities:

Boat Ramp
Drinking Water
Fire Ring
Near Water
Picnic Tables
Restrooms

8. Free Dinosaur Valley State Park Boondocking Locations – Cedar Creek – Lake Whitney

FM 2604
Whitney, Texas
GPS: 31.98971, -97.373383
Elevation: 540′

Corps of Engineers

20 camp/picnic sites at this Dinosaur Valley State Park Boondocking spot with a ground cooker/fire ring. Water faucets are located throughout the park. There is one restroom (with toilet facilities only) and one, double lane boat ramp in the park. Cedar Creek – Lake Whitney is open Year-round. There are 16-29 campsites at this location. You may stay 14 Nights at Cedar Creek – Lake Whitney.

Amenities:

Boat Ramp
Drinking Water
Fire Ring
Near Water
Picnic Tables
Restrooms

9. Dinosaur Valley State Park Camping Spots – Walling Bend – Lake Whitney

Clifton, Texas
GPS: 31.898331, -97.396248
Elevation: 542′

Corps of Engineers

All picnicking, boat launching, group, and camping facilities are free at this COE park on Lake Whitney. All of the Lake Whitney Dinosaur Valley State Park Boondocking locations are a few miles from the park but an excellent place to include on your trip.  It has 10 camp/picnic sites, one group pavilion, two restrooms (with toilet facilities only), and two, double lane boat ramps. The road in is Paved. Walling Bend – Lake Whitney is open Year-round. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 40′. You may stay 14 Nights at Walling Bend – Lake Whitney.

Amenities:

Boat Ramp
Fire Ring
Near Water
Picnic Tables
Restrooms

10. Free Dinosaur Valley State Park Boondocking – Soldier Bluff – Lake Whitney

Hwy 22
Whitney, Texas
GPS: 31.863211, -97.374916
Elevation: 544′

Corps of Engineers

COE park, no entrance fee. All sites are free. Listed as having 14 primitive sites, but only about 8 are RV (35′ max) friendly. There is longer parking at the boat ramp, but the sign at the entrance to the park says “camp in designated areas only”. A picnic shelter is available for $30. Open all year. Camphost on site. Gates closed 10pm-8am. The road to this Dinosaur Valley State Park Boondocking location is gravel and a paved road. Soldier Bluff – Lake Whitney is open Year-round. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 35′. You may stay 14 Nights at Soldier Bluff – Lake Whitney.

Amenities:

Boat Ramp
Drinking Water
Fire Ring
Near Water
Picnic Tables
Restrooms

Camping In Dinosaur Valley State Park State Park

Dinosaur Valley State Park Camping with Electricity

Cost $25 Day

Number of Sites: 44 People per Site: 8
No horses allowed in this area.

Amenities

Picnic table
Water hookup
Electric hookup
30 amp hookup
Fire ring and/or grill

Primitive Campsites (Walk-in)

Cost $18 Day

Number of Sites: 8 People per Site: 8
These Dinosaur Valley State Park Camping sites don’t have showers, restrooms, picnic tables or water. Located in the South Primitive Area. You must hike between 1/3 – 1/2 mile. The closest potable water is 1/3 – 1/2 mile away. No horses allowed in this area.

Amenities:

Fire ring
Lantern post

Dinosaur Valley State Park Camping  (Hike-in)

Cost $15 Day

Number of Sites: 7 People per Site: 8
Hike between 1 and 2.5 miles across the river to any of these Dinosaur Valley State Park Camping locations. You must wade the river to access these sites; if the river level is too high these sites may be unreachable. Contact the park at (254) 897-4588 to check on the river conditions. Water is available at the trailhead. None of these sites are within eyesight of each other. No horses are allowed in this area. Pets are allowed on a 6-foot or shorter leash and cannot be left unattended. These sites don’t have showers, restrooms, picnic tables or water. We highly recommend arriving before dark if it’s your first visit to these sites.

Amenities:

Ground fires prohibited
No Water
No Restrooms

Group Camp (40 Person)

Cost $60 Day

Number of Sites: 1 People per Site: 40
Walk in 150 yards from the parking area. Drinking water is in the parking area. Restrooms with showers are about 400 yards away. This facility cannot be reserved online; call the group reservations line at (512) 389-8920.

Amenities:

Fire ring
Water nearby
Lantern post
Three picnic tables

Group Camp (20 Person)

Cost $35 Day

Number of Sites: 1 People per Site: 20
Walk in 150 yards from the parking area. Drinking water is in the parking area. Restrooms with showers are about 400 yards away. This facility cannot be reserved online; call the group reservations line at (512) 389-8920.

Amenities:

Fire ring
Water nearby
Lantern post
Two picnic tables
$35
Nightly

Paid Dinosaur Valley State Park Camping Spots

1. Dinosaur Valley State Park Camping Spots – Plowman Creek

Plowman Creek Park Road
Morgan, Texas
GPS: 32.069244, -97.492278
Elevation: 554′

Corp of Engineers

Cost $12 Day Dry and $16 With Hookups

Overview Plowman Creek Campground is located on the west side of Whitney Lake off the main channel of the Brazos River in Central Texas. Over two million people visit Whitney Lake each year to enjoy the plethora of recreational activities and scenic beauty the lake provides. Plowman Creek is open all year.

Amenities:

Drinking Water
Dump Station
Near Water
Restrooms
Showers

2. Dinosaur Valley State Park Camping Spots – Dublin City Park

Dublin, Texas
GPS: 32.09056, -98.34978
Elevation: 1490′

City Park (Official)

Cost $10 Day

City park with maybe 10 sites. Close to pool and walking track and playground. Some sites shaded by big oak trees. Water and electric. Dump station

Amenities:

BBQ Grill
Drinking Water
Dump Station
Electricity
Picnic Tables
Restrooms
Playground

3. Dinosaur Valley State Park Camping Spots – Lake Whitney State Park – Tie – Down

Farm to Market Road 1244
Whitney, Texas
GPS: 31.924081, -97.369429
Elevation: 564′

State Park

Lake Whitney State Park – Tie – Down is open all year. This is a dispersed campsite. First come -> first served. No reservations accepted.Great night sleep even with one car camper running generator intermittently during quiet hours. Grrr! Clean restrooms. Small number of spots. Thankfully one nice spot left. Great views of the lake. Close to boat ramp so some traffic in and out.

Amenities:

Drinking Water
Dump Station
Restrooms
Showers

4. Dinosaur Valley State Park Camping Spots – East Lofers Bend

Highway 22
Whitney, Texas
GPS: 31.890895, -97.351184
Elevation: 538′

Corp of Engineers

Cost $10 Dry and $16 With Hoopups

There are 66 campsites in East Lofers Bend Park. Six of these sites (sites 33 through 38) are “water only” sites and the rest of the sites have water and 30 amp electrical hookups. All sites have an upright BBQ cooker and a ground cooker/fire ring. The park has three restrooms with showers, a trailer dump station, and two boat ramps. The road in is Paved. There are 30 or more campsites at this location.

Amenities:

ADA accessible
Boat Ramp
Drinking Water
Dump Station
Fire Ring
Near Water
Pets Welcome
Picnic Tables
Restrooms
Showers
Trash Cans

Dinosaur Valley State Park Camping Spots River

History of Dinosaur Valley State Park

Earliest Visitors

Archaeological findings indicate that people have lived in this region for many years. From roughly 6,000 years ago to the arrival of the Europeans, Native American Indians resided at various locations throughout the park. They arrived here in search of water and the plentiful wildlife, fish, and mussels. They were most likely the Tonkawa’s ancestors, who eventually settled in this area.

Hunter-gatherer groups made up the Tonkawa. They also collected pecans, walnuts, wild grapes, and other native delicacies in addition to hunting game and fishing for fish and mussels in the river.

Wichita tribes moved into this region from the upper plains in the 1700s. The Wichita people hunted buffalo, farmed, and erected conical hut villages.

Around this time, Comanche nomadic tribes also crossed into Texas. The Comanche were expert riders on horses. The “Wasps” or “Honey-Eaters,” one of the largest Comanche bands, rode through what is now Somervell County. They spent the winters here, grazing their horses on the grass prairies and being shielded from the chilly winds of the north by limestone bluffs.

The first Europeans to visit this region were probably French traders and explorers in the 1700s.

They conducted business with the Comanche and Wichita and won their support. This was mostly due to the French providing the weapons and ammo.

Early Settlers

One of the first Anglo permanent settlers in this region was Charles E. Barnard. In the late 1840s, he and his brother started a trade post. Pioneers began to flood the area in the 1850s, forever changing it.

In what would become Glen Rose, Barnard acquired a plot of land on the Paluxy River in 1860. There, he built a store and a grist mill. Visit the square to see Barnard’s statue and his wife Juana Josefina Cavasos’s biography.

Nine-year-old George Adams found something spectacular in the river a year later. Theropod tracks are enormous, three-toed tracks.

A theropod trace was discovered in a store in New Mexico over 20 years later by R. T. Bird, a fossil collector for the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He made the decision to visit Texas and take a look around. He was astounded to find what appeared to be sauropod tracks alongside the theropod tracks while examining the river. The first evidence that sauropods walked on land came from the tracks.

Preserving History

Dinosaur Valley State Park State Park, which spans 1,587 acres, debuted in 1972. Its goal is to protect these priceless dinosaur track sites so that others might benefit from them and enjoy them.

Because of the exceptional collection of dinosaur footprints, the National Place Service has designated this park as a National Natural Landmark.

The Tyrannosaurus rex (45 feet) and Apatosaurus (70 feet) models near the headquarters are impossible to miss. At the 1964–1965 New York World’s Fair, the fiberglass models were on display. They were given to the park in 1970 by the Atlantic Richfield Company. Continue reading about From Dinoland to Dino Valley.

The American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Texas Memorial Museum in Austin both have exhibits of park tracks on view. At park headquarters, you can view a copy of the tracks.

Dinosaur Valley State Park Camping Spots

5 Things to Do At DVSP

1. Draw Dinosaur Traces On A Map

Finding dinosaur footprints is probably the major draw for visitors to Dinosaur Valley State Park State Park. The likelihood of seeing tracks depends on how much rain has fallen in the area. But you’ll need to wade through the water to find certain trails, so keep that in mind and wear footwear you don’t mind getting wet. There are markers about the numerous kinds of dinosaurs that previously roamed the area for educational purposes.

Acrocanthosaurus is the state dinosaur of Texas, in case you didn’t know. Texas has a state dinosaur? I had no idea!

A GPS-enabled smartphone can be used to obtain the digital dinosaur track maps after reading about mapping dinosaur tracks. You should be careful when crossing the rocks because they might be slippery, especially after a heavy rain.

2. Bring A Picnic

In the park, there is a designated picnic space near to a playground for kids. Beautiful picnic location with lots of open space for kids to play and shady trees, although busy around noon. There are a few picnic tables at the entrance next to the park’s store close to the Brontosaurus and Tyrannosaurus (T-Rex) monuments if this area is too crowded. Both locations are ideal for a family picnic; don’t forget to take pictures of the children in front of the dinosaurs.

There is a pavilion with a fireplace, picnic tables, nearby beautiful and clean facilities, but no electricity, that large groups may rent for the day. The park’s store sells iced beverages, snacks, and other products in case something was forgotten at home.

3. Paddle A Kayak On the Paluxy River

From one end of the inner half of the park to the other, the Paluxy River forms a U-shape and around Glen Rose’s central business district. If you’re fortunate enough to visit after a significant downpour, the Paluxy transforms into a whitewater river with rapids that are ideal for kayaking. It can be really difficult to navigate, though, if that’s the case. There is no kayaking if there hasn’t been any rain in the forecast for days or even weeks. Prior to driving there with your kayak, be sure to make a call. One can either be brought with you or rented at the park.

4. Ride a Bike, Hike, Or Bring A Horse.

You can enjoy your exploration of the park whichever you please with the 20 miles of nature trails available. Each trail’s difficulty is listed on the map you receive when you check in. The trails are divided into two ctegories: easy and moderate. Whatever route you choose, use sturdy footwear because some of the trails are rocky and steep.

While wandering among the trees on the Monarch Trail, if you’re fortunate and visit the park at the proper time, you might observe fluttering birds and butterflies. Or possibly the Buckeye Trail will pass by several minor waterfalls.
Save some of your walking time and energy to ascend to the Paluxy River Scenic Overlook location. There is no other route there. The closest parking is not very close.

5. Join A Guided Horseback Tour

You don’t own a horse? No issue. A guided equine trip allows you to mount and take in the breathtaking scenery along the Paluxy River’s picturesque pathways in Dinosaur Valley State Park State Park. You can register online for guided tours offered by Eagle Eye Ranch Carriage Company. Ride through vast landscapes where dinosaurs once roamed on an exciting adventure.

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