St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm
2180 East Riverside Drive, St. George, UT 84790
The St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm has become a tourist attraction in southernwestern Utah that annually attracts thousands of people. These people come to see more than 2,000 tracks and swim tracks left by dinosaurs and animals from millions of years ago. Of note, Dinosaur Discovery Site has one of the two known set of tracks created by a sitting dinosaur in the world.
In 2000, the Johnson Farm quickly gained fame after Dr. Sheldon Johnson found several dinosaur tracks and fossils while leveling land. Paleontological investigation revealed that these remains date back almost 200 million years to the Early Jurassic Period. Today, built over the tracksite, there is a modern musuem - funded partially by an appropriation from the US Congress - that is full of information about dinosaurs and ancient animal life.
Many international paleontological experts consider this site a valuable resource for further Early Jurassic Period research. "The [St. George] collection is going to be the most important in the world for the researchers working on early Jurassic footprints," states Gerard Gierlinski of the Polish Geological Institute. These remnants sustain the theory that an ancient lake once existed in the area, and to further support this theory some of the highest concentrations of dinosaur swim tracks in the world are found here.
These tracks are preserved in sandstone and are dislplayed in the museum. The museum showcases a 52,000 pound slab that has over fifty tracks! These tracks, as well as many others in the museum, are actually negative impressions. The imprints created by the dinosaurs were molds that sand and silt filled. The sand and silt casts solidified to preserve them for us to enjoy and investigate.
Detailed signage or knowledgeable volunteer docents guide visitors through the museum and allow them to explore at their own pace. The sandstone slabs that most of the tracks and other specimen are on are well marked. The St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm is near downtown St. George. Head east on 700 South and go over the hill on Foremaster Drive, turning left at the light on Riverside Drive.Continue for several blocks and you will see the e site on the right at 2180 East Riverside Road. Hours and Days vary depending on the season (see www.DinosaursUtah.com)
Admission fee required.