Dinosaur Discovery Site St. George Utah
In 2000, local optometrist Dr. Sheldon Johnson was leveling a hill on his property in St. George, Utah. As he removed layers of sedimentary rock, he encountered a thick level of sandstone. As he tore it up in large blocks, a fantastic object was revealed – a three-dimensionally preserved dinosaur track. It was to be the first of thousands of tracks made by dinosaurs and other animals that have now been recognized or recovered from the numerous layers of sandstone and mudstone that formed almost 200 million years ago on the shores of an ancient lake in the vicinity of St. George.
Realizing that these dinosaur tracks would be best served if they were maintained for scientific and educational purposes, Dr. Johnson and his wife, LaVerna, worked to set aside the land and its fossils.
The best preserved and most numerous tracks today form the in-place trackway and exhibits of the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm. Many other fossils including bones of dinosaurs and fish, shells of small aquatic animals, and leaves and seeds of plants, have joined the footprints, enabling paleontologists to reconstruct the nearly 200 million-year-old ecosystem preserved here with unprecedented clarity, an extreme rarity for rocks of any time period.
The Classroom houses rotating exhibits and tells the stories of dinosaurs and paleontology beyond the museum. These temporary displays have included such topics as dinosaur eggs, historical inaccuracies in early paleontology, how dinosaurs get their names, as well as origami of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. Along with each new exhibit is a hands-on activity that goes along with the current exhibit’s theme. Other activities include Draw Your Favorite…, dinosaur stencils and rubbings, dinosaur toys, and books.
Inside the Dino Park is a sandbox that contains tracks for children to find. There are several blocks around the walkways that have fossilized bones embedded in them that can be touched and studied to see the differences in fossilization. The museum is planning two new exhibits in the Dino Park. The first will be a climb-on crouching dinosaur and a “Walk Through Time” exhibit about the geologic time scale.
2180 East Riverside Drive St. George, UT 84790
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Sunday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Open Holidays: The museum is open for Memorial Day, July 4th, Pioneer Day (July 24th), and Labor Day.
Closed Holidays: The museum is closed on Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
*We may close early the evening before these holidays as well as for special events.
Our museum is fully air conditioned, with water fountains, bathrooms, and a gift shop for your enjoyment. We also have an outdoor Dino Park play area for the kids!
Stay at Wingate by Wyndham St. George when you visit Dinosaur Discovery Site
Experience the comfort and convenience of the Wingate by Wyndham St. George. Our innovative and contemporary hotel is an inviting retreat for business and pleasure in beautiful southern Utah – where red rocks meet blue skies. Whether you are hosting a company meeting or heading out on a sublime hiking adventure, our hotel is an oasis of hospitality where you can work, relax, connect and explore Utah’s Dixie.
Located in southwestern Utah, surrounded by red rock canyons, majestic mountains and pristine state and national parks, St. George is a captivating destination for relaxation and adventure. St. George offers a myriad of fun things to do and see – from the Dinosaur Discovery Park to the Pioneer Center for the Arts. Enjoy hiking and biking in Dixie National Forest and explore the beautiful trails and dunes of Snow Canyon State Park. Stroll through the St. George Historic District enjoy concerts under the stars at Tuacahn Amphitheatre, and wander through the galleries and studios at Coyote Gulch Art Village.
We are 5.5 miles from Dinosaur Discovery Site.
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