Picket Wire Canyonlands Tracksite (4,403′), Eastern Plains
Picket Wire (Purgatoire) Canyonlands, in the Comanche National Grasslands, is home to the largest dinosaur track site in North America. 150 million years ago this area was part of a large shallow lake and was teaming with Brontosaurs and Allosaurs. As these massive beasts plodded along the muddy edge of this lake, they left their footprints in the mud, which were eventually buried and turned to stone. Today, over 1,300 of these footprints, extending a 1/4 mile, are exposed at the Picket Wire Canyonlands dinosaur track site.
Another interesting geological attraction on the Eastern Plains is Paint Mines Park, with it’s richly colored clay spires.
Ranger led vehicle access can be arranged in advance during certain times. Vehicle access does not traverse same trail.
GPS Route with Elevation
There are no navigation issues with the trail. The reason for the difficulty rating is the distance.
Starting at the Withers Canyon Trailhead, the trail descends 250 feet into the canyons. Along the way you will encounter many ruins including the Dolores Mission and Cemetery. Many rocks above the trail have centuries old petroglyphs left behind by nomadic tribes.