Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite


Cloud Peak Scenic Byway
Rome Hill Road
Castle Gardens
Big Cedar Ridge
Gooseberry Scenic Area
Wild Horse Area
Duck Swamp
Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite
Red Gulch
Dinosaur
Tracksite
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Imagine yourself walking along an ocean shoreline 165 million years ago with hundreds of your closest dinosaur friends looking to pick up a bite of lunch from what washed up on the last high tide. But the ground is soft and your feet sink down into the thick mud, leaving clear tracks of every step you take.


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The tracks are easy to find because they are located on the Bureau of Land Management's Red Gulch/Alkali National Back Country Byway near shell, Wyo. To visit the tracks, which are on public land, take the Red Gulch Byway turnoff from U.S. Highway 14, four miles west of Shell or eight miles east of Greybull. The site is 5.2 miles south of the turnoff.

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The byway can usually be driven from May through October using a high clearance, two-wheel drive vehicle. Remember, even in light rain the back roads can get muddy. Since possible hazardous driving conditions can exist, please take all the necessary precautions.

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Why is this site important? Scientists are excited about this site for a couple of reasons. First, the tracks were formed in the Middle Jurassic Period (160 million to 180 million years old). Until the tracks were found, most scientists through the whole Big Horn Basin was under the Sundance Sea. They thought only sea dwelling creatures lived in the area, and there shouldn't be any footprints here at all!

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Not only are there a few tracks, but in this 40-acre area there could be thousands. This suggests a very large and diverse population of dinosaurs. The dinosaur tracks were clearly made just at the shoreline, not in deep ocean water, and there must have been large areas of dry land to support not only dinosaurs but other animals and plants.

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Red Gulch/Alkali National Back Country Byway traverses 32 miles along the western edge of the Bighorn Mountains. An information exhibit marks each entrance with historical information as well as road conditions.  Take a step back in time as you travel this historic route. Explore the many different types of transportation our ancestors used to travel this scenic route. The road winds through remote country side, so remember to take all necessary safety precautions. The road is maintained on an annual basis, however some areas can accumulate several inches of dust.



WORLAND-TEN SLEEP VISITOR'S COUNCIL
120 North 10th St., Worland, WY 82401
307-347-3226 ~ E-mail: wacc@trib.com


Cloud Peak Scenic Byway ] Rome Hill Road ] Castle Gardens ] Big Cedar Ridge ] Gooseberry Scenic Area ] Wild Horse Area ] Duck Swamp ] [ Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite ]

 

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