UT – Moccasin Mountain . . . geocaching for dino prints

One of the benefits of social media is opening doors for friendships. Strangers becoming acquaintances becoming friends has been the best part of my travels. One of these days I’ll write a more detailed post about my life on the road, how I’ve networked to enrich my travel experience, but until then, back to this story. During a visit with my friend Trish (whom I met through social media), I was introduced to her friend Lori, who’s spent extensive time exploring the backroads of southern Utah and northern Arizona. The two cooked up a few great play days including this one on the Utah/Arizona border.

This is a BLM managed area and they’ve made this a fun game by providing resources such as a footprint guide and GPS coordinates. I entered the coordinates into a mapping app to help us locate the general vicinity of the various prints. Tip: if your app doesn’t provide for various GPS entry options, you might need to use a converter.

The sandstone field where dinosaurs once roamed. 

Let the search begin.

Will Benny find the first tracks? 

While Benny was romping, Lori won the tracker award for the first sighting. 

According the brochure we caught ourselves a Kayentapus. This was a 15-18 foot long, carnivorous dinosaur.

Soon we got the hang of this and found the path of travel.

Next up was the Grallator, a 6-9′ long dinosaur, with the most abundant tracks at the site. 

These tracks were made by the Kayentapus as they walked down steep slopes. They are known as “slip” tracks. 

Finding multiple prints and the path of travel was a highlight. 

While these matched a couple of the photos, the description didn’t match so we decided this was a young Grallator.

We couldn’t identify these. 

As novice trackers, we had a hard time distinguishing between the Grallator (5″ long) and Kayentapus (10-12″ long). 

We were excited to finally find the tracks of the Otozoum, a 20-25′ long, 4-toed, vegetarian. 

Curiosity is a good thing. 

This was definitely a memory maker day. Thank you Lori and Trish for the invite! 

Date(s) Hiked: March 18, 2016

Road Trip Day(s) #28 out of 88

Tips:

  • Stop in the Kanab BLM Visitor Center for the free brochure.
  • While in Kanab, enter the GPS coordinates in your phone mapping app.
  • The access road is single track seriously deep sand requiring high clearance 4×4 and an experienced driver (we encountered multiple ATV’s which required fancy driving maneuvers to avoid getting stuck while avoiding collision).

Resources:

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