The Rock Walk at Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

June 19, 2008 at 1:13 pm (Hiking)

Today I took the two DD’s for a ride out to the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry.  This national natural landmark, although VERY out of the way, is well worth the trip.  It is known for having a very large deposit of fossilized dinosaur bones-more than 12,000 to be exact.  Even more interesting is that most of them are allosaur bones, with smaller numbers of other dinosaurs.  After visiting the visitor center, you can take a look inside of one of the buildings where they are excavating bones and then take any of three hikes.  We took the Rock Walk.  It’s about 1.3 miles long and took us about 1 1/2 hours.  It’s a self-guided nature walk with 15 stops along the trail.  Make sure you get a guide at the trailhead so that you can read about each area marked with a numbered post or you will miss out on a lot.

Here are some pictures we took on the trail.

Stop one:  Fossilized partial rib of a sauropod, left in place.


Stop two:  Was a place where we might see some lizards.  We didn’t see any there, but saw about four along the rest of the trail.  They have such great camouflage, that they are difficult to spot and even harder to photograph. See if you can spot these…



Stop three:  A section corner marker placed by government surveyors.  The trail guide mentioned that ancient Babylonians would inscribe curses on their boundary stones.

Glad there are no curses on this one! 🙂

Stop five:  Desert varnish.  Those dark rocks are not the true color of those rocks.  This dark coating made it possible for ancient peoples living in the area like the Fremont to peck or scratch figures into the rock because the rock is much lighter under that varnish.


Stop ten:  Bentonitic Clay , also called shrink-and-swell” clay or popcorn clay.  The crystal structure of this clay allows it to swell when wet and shrink when dry, causing that really cool texture.


Stop thirteen:  A boulder that was once part of a nearby cliff.  Glad I wasn’t there when it came loose!


We also spotted a rabbit. I think it might have been a Desert Cottontail. 



and some gorgeous cactus flowers.



Notice I skipped some stops because some of them weren’t very interesting or were inaccessable due to a reclamation project on part of the trail. 

Edited to add the boulder picture.  Not sure how I posted the same pic twice! 




1 Comment

  1. indianananaknits said,

    Great pics!! Looks like a fascinating trip! I did spot one of the lizards. 🙂

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