Friday, July 22, 2016

Copper Ridge Dinosaur Trackways - Part Two.

So, if you're just finding this blog, you're wandering around trying to find Part One; well that was when we traveled from Dalton Wells to the Klondike Bluffs. This is the second part of the total adventure, our visit to Copper Ridge to see the dinosaur tracks, and we even did a little exploring of a trail that led to mines.

I will be using the Moab Diner as the beginning point of travel.  Why?  They have a great breakfast selection of course!  Anyway, going northward on Main Street/Route 191, drive 23.3 miles to BLM143/Copper Ridge Jeep Safari Road/North Klondike Bluffs.; make a right turn onto it. You'll see a gas utility outlet there and have to cross over the railroad tracks; while a standard passenger vehicle can get to the dinosaur track section; 4 wheel drive is recommended for any other roads.  All mountain biking and ATV trails are marked accordingly.  Take the road to the right for the dinosaur tracks, the road to the left leads to an extreme 4 wheel drive trail, probably used during Jeep Safari.

In one mile is a junction, go to the left, in an additional mile will be the parking area for the track area.  It's a 500 foot hike uphill on a rocky/sandy trail; don't forget the water!  There are informational boards with rules, regulations, warnings, and maps; a mountain biking trail that begins there; also a vault toilet.

Mountain Biking Trail

Route 191 can be seen.

The Dino Trail

On the way up, take a look at the landscape around; imagine being there during the time of the dinosaur and suddenly one decided to make itself known to us....a Desert Whiptail Lizard.

Claret Cup Cactus

Possibly Fossilized Sandstone

At the top of the hike is an informational board about the dinosaur tracks; mainly Sauropod (Camarasaurus) and Theropod (Allosaurus); now whether the one was running from the other can't be distinguished, but they left their marks to carry on.  However, don't leave your marks to let others know you were there; to be frank, nobody cares!!!  Thank you for respecting our land.

Sauropod Track

Theropod Tracks

Possible Fossil in Sandstone

While most look at the tracks and turn back, we kept walking around and found that the trail did continue upwards; rocky, sandy and there was evidence that ATVs had traveled through.  The landscape was still pretty much prehistoric (we love it!), but we came upon a warning sign from the BLM about the uranium mines.  Although they have been closed down, playing inside them is NOT an option; poisonous fumes, uranium contamination, collapsing beams, flooring and walls are always a possibility.  The trail continued around a bend, but we were not prepared for an extra long hike, so returned to our vehicle for a snack and a new bottle of cold water from the cooler.

Sunlight Through a Pothole

Trail Continues Around a Bend.

Mine Debris

Unprocessed Uranium

Yellow colored rocks that sparkle....not good!

....and no, we didn't call it a day.  We went back one mile to the junction, found the other 4 wheel drive trail through Copper Ridge and off we went! 

Mary Cokenour

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