The amount of hidden gems located within a small drive from Dallas is mind blowing. One of the reasons I started this blog was to rediscover these places that are within short drives from Dallas that we often forget about or don’t even know they exist.
For years, I’ve been wanting to visit Glen Rose, Texas and decided to make the short trip earlier this month. This was our first stop of many through a Texas road trip but I couldn’t believe how quick the trip was from Dallas or Fort Worth.
We stayed the night in Glen Rose, Texas but could have easily made a round trip visit in a day which I highly suggest doing if this stop isn’t part of a longer road trip. Travel time to Glen Rose from Dallas is 75 miles one way or 150 miles round trip. It takes approximately 1.5 hours one way.
For this Texas Road Trip, we put the Toyota RAV4 Crossover SUV to the test. With a toddler in tow, we needed extra space for things like his stroller, a cooler for snacks and his extra large car seat.
We left our house around 10am and headed straight to Glen Rose, the beauty of short Dallas day trips is not having to stop before arriving at your destination. The drive was super easy since you stay on the same roads for long stretches of time.
The Toyota RAV4 GPS helped us guide the way. One of my favorite things about this GPS was that it would alert me when there would be traffic ahead and ask if I would like to reroute. It would also let me know if I was on the fastest route for our destination. We traveled through many small towns where the speed limit would drastically change from 60mph to 30mph, so being able to see the current mph at all times was a blessing. No good road trip begins with a speeding ticket!
There aren’t tons of hotels to choose from in Glen Rose, so if you are going during a peak time (for instance, Spring Break), I highly suggest booking in advance. We stayed at the Best Western in Glen Rose for one night before heading to San Antonio.
There are not tons of hotels in Glen Rose, but there are a handful to choose from. I’ve listed them below to help with your planning.
Hotels in Glen Rose, Texas
If you’re visiting Glen Rose, you’re either coming for the Dinosaurs, Fossil Rim or both. Since our visit wasn’t going to be long, we wanted to try to do everything we can in the couple days we had scheduled.
Dinosaur Valley State Park
The first place we stopped was Dinosaur Valley State Park. If you aren’t familiar, this park has real dinosaur tracks that you can walk through. The dinosaur tracks are located in riverbed and we happened to visit on a day after it poured down rain so unfortunately the tracks weren’t visible.
Although many people visit Dinosaur Valley for the dinosaur tracks, there is much more to do such as camp, picnic, hike, mountain bike, swim and fish in the river, watch for wildlife, look for a geocache, ride your horse, or visit their interpretive center.
Dinosaur Valley State Park has free admission but you do have to pay for parking. Before entering, there will be a sign out to let you know if the dinosaur tracks are visible or not. About 1/2 mile from the entrance, you will see two life size dinosaur models that are perfect for pictures. Bryce absolutely loved staring and ROARing at them.
After venturing around Dinosaur Valley, we decided to head to our next adventure – Dinosaur World.
Dinosaur World – Glen Rose, Texas
Dinosaur World is located not even a quarter of a mile outside of Dinosaur Valley which makes it a great place to stop. Originally, we weren’t sure if we were going to make Dinosaur World a priority stop on our trip but I’m so glad we did. If you’re unfamiliar, Dinosaur World is a large dinosaur exhibit spread throughout many acres with hundreds of life size dinosaurs in a natural setting.
We spent at least an hour on the trail walking by each of the dinosaurs and checking them out. There is a sign at each dinosaur that provides info on what they ate, their name and fun facts so it’s a great learning experience.
After we spent time checking out each and every dinosaur, Bryce absolutely loved their park. It was large and had all sorts of fun activities. It was a great size to accommodate a lot of kids without them being all over each other.
After a long day exploring dinosaurs, we opted to rest and wake up early to start our next adventure – a visit to Fossil Rim. I was anxious to see how Bryce would react to all of the animals up close and personal.
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center – Glen Rose, Texas
No matter if you are staying in Glen Rose overnight or driving in, I highly recommend arriving at Fossil Rim as early as possible. Not only do you know want to get stuck behind a long line of cars but the animals are hungry in the morning.
There are two different options to go through Fossil Rim, you can drive yourself through the park or you can take a guided group tour on their bus. We opted to drive ourselves because I didn’t believe my son would last for hours on a bus without issues.
If you drive yourself, you are able to have young children in the front seat with you and you can go at your own pace. There are two lanes throughout the whole entire park so you can pass cars and move forward. We bought 1 bag of food and it was plenty for us.
The driving tour lasts approximately 2.5 hours. There is a pit stop in the middle of the park where you can get out, stretch your legs and take a potty break. It is located in a gift shop and has a small cafe attached where you can grab a bite to eat. This is also a great spot to stop and overlook the park.
We weren’t going to stop but I’m glad we did. At the pit stop there is also a Children’s Animal Center where kids can interact with animals and learn more about taking care of these exotic creatures. This is completely free so it’s a great place for the kids to get out and explore before finishing the wildlife tour.
Once we completed our drive around Fossil Rim, we took extended our road trip to San Antonio with a few pit stops on the way.
Here’s some more info about the places we stopped in Glen Rose, Texas. All of these locations are within a 5-10 minute drive of each other.
Best Western Dinosaur Valley Inn & Suites is located at 1311 NE Big Bend Trail, Glen Rose, TX 76043. I highly suggest booking early as this is one of the nicer hotels in the area.
Dinosaur Valley State Park is located at 1629 Park Rd 59, Glen Rose, TX 76043. There are lots of great activities to do and see here. If you want to experience the dinosaur footprints, attempt to go where there hasn’t been rain in a couple days.
Dinosaur World is located at 1058 Park Road 59, Glen Rose, TX 76043. This is a great place for dinosaur loving kids to explore and learn about over a hundred different types of dinosaurs. There is also a great play area to run off any energy.
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is located at 2299 Co Rd 2008, Glen Rose, TX 76043. Arrive early and get your camera ready to see all types of endangered species. This is such a fun up close and personal experience.
Now off to our next adventure, road trip to San Antonio, Texas!