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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 17 mi (27.4 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +668/665 ft
Total: 80 riders
 

Mountain Biking Dinosaur Valley State Park

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#20 of 274 mountain bike trails in Texas
#720 in the world

I visited DV while on vacation from Florida and I was not disappointed. DV valley has a lot of limestone and rocks to contend with. There are great climbs and even better descents that will challenge most riders. The trails are well marked and mapped out but if you are not familiar with the place it could be overwhelming. DV is what MTB Texas Hill country is all about.

First added by TrailAPI on Apr 6, 2013. Last updated May 9, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
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Getting there
Dino Valley State Park is about 4 or 5 miles west of Glen Rose, TX. From Glen Rose take HWY 67 until you reach FM 205. Follow FM 205 a couple of miles until you see Park Rd 59. Pay at the Park office.
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Dinosaur Valley State Park Trail map

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SlowMitch (on Nov 25, 2019)
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Wet (on Jul 7, 2018)
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Reviews

  • SlowMitch
    *****

    Wow, where to start... First off, this is a fantastic trail. Lots of variety in difficulty of features/terrain, VERY well marked ( i never had any trouble figuring out where I was), Lots of climbing if you want it, lots of gnar, lots of sketchy descents, In my opinion some of the best fun you can have without a lift.

    This trail is definitely intermediate, with some sections being definite black diamond level. Expect lots of loose terrain including LOTS of large rocks and rocky climbs. Very physically demanding at times, but nothing too ridiculously steep.This trail has the unique distinction of being two way (nearly all DFW trails are one direction, linear), so this allows for to really customize what kind of ride you want once you're familiar with the flow.

    If you're worried about getting lost based on other reviews, or the map seems confusing to you, let me attempt to explain how the trails are laid out. The "northeast" side of the park has the highest elevation, and the elevation decreases the closer you get to the river. If it's your first time, I would recommend riding the Cedar Brake Outer loop from either the east or west entrance, climb to the north east side of the park (where the trail runs along the park perimeter), and then choose one of the other four trails (Black Capped Vireo, Denio Creek, Rocky Ridge, or Buckeye) for a long, fast and fun descent back to the "main hub" where most of the trails converge.

    In a nutshell, think of it like a downhill park, where you ride the Cedar Brake loop to the top to get your descent. Also, while all the bike trails are technically two-way and some sections would make both awesome climbs and descents, i got the impression that the four trails inside the Cedar Brake loop were cut mainly to be descents. Denio Creek and Rocky Ridge are easy enough to climb back to the top, but Black-Capped Vireo is almost entirely downhill (I had the most fun on this trail btw). I didn't get to ride Buckeye, so I can't comment on it.

    A few suggestions for your first time

    1. Bring plenty of water, your tools and a spare tube.
    2. Bring extra socks. Your feet WILL get wet on the main river crossing.
    3. Bring a full suspension if you have it. This place would leave you in pain if you rode a hardtail.
    4. Grab a map at the office when you arrive. It's essential to finding your way around.

    A definite destination trail for North Texas residents. I can't wait to come back!

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  • Dink
    *****

    Just rode the Cedar Break Outer Loop 7.5 miles. Rode counter clockwise and struggled with long steep hills for a 60 year old. Great trail although I recommend starting at the Blue Hole and go clockwise. Take plenty of water and don't litter please. Beautiful workout!!! Enjoy, Dink

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  • mcandler4
    *****

    Exploring Dinosaur Valley State Park - Glen Rose, Texas
    Dinosaur Valley Sate Park (DVSP), is a great North Texas mountain bike trail with challenging climbs, rock gardens and natural beauty and wildlife.
    The trail starts off smooth in meadows of wildflowers and quickly drops to a water crossing of the Paluxy River and promptly begins climbing the awesome limestone cliffs. When you get to the top you can look back and see the river and Texas hill country vistas.
    The Cedar Break Loop trail is just under 8 miles. The trail is mostly marked well except at few water crossing locations where either the signs have been washed away, or need to be replaced. Could use a few new ones for the first time rider.
    As I made my way up a climb on the outer loop, I was surprised by a rather large Rattlesnake stretched across the trail sunbathing. He was in no hurry and did not find the need to move out of the trail. I snapped some photos, and then tried to step around, but was too scared he would strike at the bike wheels as I would be passing just a few feet away from him. So, I backed up about 20 feet and tossed some bark chunks near him. At first, he would not move then he finally had enough and turned away just a little bit so I could comfortably pass by out of striking distance.
    I will come back to visit soon, and perhaps make a weekend trip and stay in the great campgrounds and explore more of the looping trails on the maps. The entry fee was $7, you get a great Texas State Park Trail Map and the park is very well taken care of.
    This trail will go on my list of top Texas trails. Hope you can visit and see for yourself why the Dinosaurs picked such a great spot to hang in the North Texas.

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  • Cree Johanningmeier
    ****

    Very interesting trail. I only did both cedar ridge trails and found that they are VERY rocky. I would not suggest this trail to someone not a beginner. It is a trail that is designed for the hikers comfort NOT for the bikers!

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  • rayray74
    *****

    This is my favorite trail in the dfw area. I'm probably in the minority when it comes to that opinion but I prefer the more linear nature of this system, and by that I mean it's not just winding around back and forth for more mileage. The climbs seem more sustained along with the downhills, and the trasitons between them seem to flow better than most around here. It's not like your flowing a downhill only to end abruptly with a sharp up. I think there's a nice mix of smooth, and rough and rocky (at times very loose). I also like that it's less crowded than many others, especially once you get into the ride.

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  • far4cges
    ***

    Patience required when riding here. Took a bit of hunting to find the trailhead. Too much loose rock and shale on the descents and climbs... an inexperienced rider will have difficulty. Rode DVSP directly after riding Solovaca.... I should have just put another $3 in the box and rode another loop at Solovaca.

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  • djj1924
    ****

    I'm going to be doing a series of reviews on trails that I regularly ride (at an expert level, wink wink). My review will be focused on what to expect and what you should do if you are bringing along your wife or girlfriend (assuming she is a beginner/intermediate level rider) for a day of fun.

    This trails is a OK place for beginner/intermediate riders. I suggest taking the Cedar Brake loop and cutting across with the Buckeye trail. Heading counter clockwise, be prepared for a ton of technical climbing right after you cross the river, from there it is approximately 1mi of loose limestone climbing until you hit the Buckeye cut off. Once you are on Cedar Brake again, follow this all the way to the end. It loops around the park, great views, several spots for shade and your girlfriend/wife will not be too mad at you.

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  • Craig Barker
    *****

    My son and I went during spring break three days after a rain. It is a little difficult to figure out where to start, but maybe the rangers could have helped. We started before the station opened.

    Starting past the amphitheater we found single track down to the river. The crossing was about 6" deep at most. Past that the trail turned into rocky fire road with climbs that were difficult for us. Then we found a sign showing a split between green and orange trails. We took green which was a single track with areas of bigger rocks, tree covered trail, and ended near the water. Some descents were about all we could handle, but fun. Had to carry bikes across the water to get home, but I think that's planned. Thanks to Dallas Off-road association for keeping the signs up.

    It was a lot if fun for people from Lubbock

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  • 061095cp
    ****

    From a MTB'ers perspective, I would rate this trail intermediate to advanced but for the average rider, this is an ADVANCED trail with some descents that can get you in trouble very quickly! So BE CAREFUL! With that said, it is a great trail and I highly recommend checking it out! Lots of rock garden climbs and descents that will challenge even a seasoned rider! Plus you're right down the road from Solovaca, which is another great place to ride (especially if you have young kids or beginners in your group). Check them both out! You will not be disappointed!

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  • theUfan
    *****

    This place rocks...literally. Limestone rock everywhere and miles upon miles of trails. Great downhills and challenging climbs along with the beautiful scenery make this place on of my favorites. Every time i visit family in Texas, i will stop at DV.

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