The Silver Reef Dino Tracks are located in Leeds, Utah near Interstate 15. Silver Leef was once mined for its deposits of silver; the only known sandstone formation in the world with silver deposits. The Silver Reef Trail winds through the Red Cliffs Recreation Area. Red Cliffs Recreation Area is part of a conservation area and is home to a variety of trails and campgrounds. It is accessed through two tunnels underneath the highway. Any passenger vehicle can make the trip. There is a $5 day use entry fee or a $15 a night camping fee.
Silver Reef Trail is a short, easy trail at 0.3 miles long. It is a great trail for families with kids and hikers of any fitness level. Dogs are allowed but should be kept on a six foot leash. The trail wanders across the canyon beside rich red sandstone cliffs. It starts near the campground restrooms and slowly climbs red slick rock to a lookout point higher in the box canyon. The point offers beautiful views of the sandstone and surrounding area.
There are two sets of dinosaur tracks along the trail. Hikers have to pay close attention to the ground beneath their feet. There is one set on the way to the lookout point and one set at the top of the point next to a stone pillar. Please look out for the tracks to avoid stepping on the fragile prints. Walking on or touching the fossilized dinosaur tracks will damage them. Markers with dinosaur footprints identify several of the prints.
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Temperatures in Leeds reach triple digits in the summer. The best time to hike the trail is spring or fall, in the early morning or the evening. The campgrounds are a great place to relax and take in the beauty of the area. There are various other popular trails in the Red Cliffs Recreation Area for those looking for longer or more strenuous hikes. Many hikers will use the campgrounds as a base and try out different area trails. For those short on time or looking for an easy beautiful hike, Silver Reef is a great choice.
The Silver Reef Trail offers a brief glance into history while capturing the intense beauty of the surrounding sandstone. It is always interesting to imagine a time long ago where powerful creatures roamed the same land we explore today. It allows for a closer connection to the earth around us and helps remind us that we all leave footprints on history.
Written by: Lauren Kehoe