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Texas - Dinosaur Valley Backpacking Trip

Event password will always be GWHTX***
This event is hosted by Girls Who Hike TX Ambassador Hester Lam! 10 random attendees will receive a special Girls Who Hike giveaway at this meetup!

CAMPSITE: I have rented 3 campsites for up to 8 people each in the primitive hike in area. Campsites are first come, first served, so I will do my best to get sites close to each other by arriving early. Note that the campsites are all along different parts of the Denio Creek Warbler, Cedar Ridge, and Cedar Brake trails and are not within eyesight of each other, but they are only about a quarter mile between each site. In case of emergency, we should be able to reach each other quickly. The sites are also fairly large, so we might be able to get away with using only two sites. There is no water at the campsite, so we are responsible for packing in any water we will need. In addition, there are no restrooms, so plan on packing in/ out any toilet paper/ waste. Furthermore, no campfires are allowed. Please plan your cook system accordingly.

SECURING YOUR SPOT: reserve your ticket through Eventbrite at The password is GWHTX. Tickets will be available at 8PM CST one month prior to the meetup (May 9). RSVPing on Facebook does not guarantee you a spot! You MUST have an Eventbrite ticket reserved for headcount purposes (since we have a maximum of 24 people on the campsites!)

COST: The cost for this meetup is $2 per person. This will cover the campground fees. After you have reserved your ticket through Eventbrite, please Venmo (HesterLam), Paypal friends and family (, or Apple Pay (865-437-7828 please do not spam me) Hester Lam within 48 hours. If payment is not given at this time, your reserved spot may move to the next person on the waitlist.

ADDITIONAL COSTS: There is an excess vehicle fee charged by the park for additional vehicles at each site (not sure what the fee is as the website does not say. I will call and check prior to the event. If this is an issue, we can work this out). The first five vehicles will have free parking at the campsite; carpooling is strongly recommended (please split gas costs with the driver accordingly!). In addition, the park charges a $7 daily visitation fee. If you/ someone in your carpool has a Texas Parks & Wildlife State Park Pass, this is waived. Again, carpooling is highly encouraged – save the environment, save money.

CHECK IN: All campers MUST check in with the park headquarters when they arrive. The reservation is under Hester Lam. You may have to pay the excess vehicle fee at this time, if you are one of the latter cars. You will also pay the $7 daily visitation fee at this time. Make sure the parking pass the rangers give you is visible on your dashboard when you park!

FOOD: You are responsible for your own food. Again, campfires are prohibited at our campsite so make sure the food you have can be cooked with a cooking system (e.g. whisperlite, jetboil) that is allowed. Please plan accordingly. Alcohol is strictly prohibited at all Texas State Parks. Please do not bring any. If you have severe food allergies, please let us all know so that we can avoid bringing them.

CLOTHING: There will be at least one river crossing per day. Plan to bring waterproof boots/ shoes for crossing and a pair of extra socks in case of getting wet. Wet feet = higher likelihood of blisters. You WILL be miserable if you only have wet socks the remainder of the trip and/ or blisters!


Saturday June 9: We will meet at the gift shop parking lot at 10 AM SHARP. We will be taking the Blue Hole Trail (.41 miles) to the Cedar Brake Outer Loop (~4.43 miles) and however long to the campground area (up to .59 miles additional). We will get our camps set up and hang out for the remainder of the day. Total elevation gain should be about 400 feet, based on the topographic map. Trekking poles are recommended for some sections of the hike. I will post a picture in the event comments of the path planned (drawn in purple).

Sunday June 10: After we get up and ready for the day, we will pack up and head out of camp. We will for from the campsites (which may be up to an additional .67 miles) to the Denio Creek Trail (.46 miles) to the Black- capped Vireo trail (2.0 miles) to the Overlook Trail (.47 miles) to the Paluxy River Trail (~.64 mile). This should be mostly downhill, and quite beautiful. If everyone is feeling extremely tired, we can exit from the campsites (depending on where campsite is, up to 1.03 miles away from furthest site) via the Denio Creek Trail (.46) or the Cedar Ridge Trail (.8 miles), depending on where we camp, to the Cedar Brake Outer Loop (.44 miles) to the Limestone Ledge Trail (.45 miles) to the Paluxy River Trail (.24 miles) to the Blue Hole Trail (.41 miles). These trails (with the exception of Cedar Ridge) are rated easy and almost completely flat. Refer to the picture in the event comments of the path planned (drawn in blue) and the backup plan (drawn in green).

- Cell service is unpredictable. Per the rangers, only Verizon has service here. AT&T has a little bit of service at some points from personal experience, but do not rely on your phone for navigation.
- This park has one of the comparatively larger gift shops, and you can take some selfies with the giant (fake) dinosaurs, if that’s your sort of thing.
- Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is super close, and is kinda fun if you are into endangered/ threatened wildlife. I will not be going personally, but more information can be found here if you are interested:

***In order to attend an official meetup, you MUST have a signed Liability Waiver on file. Please see the Group Rules for details/link to sign. It takes 60 seconds to complete and one waiver clears you for all meetups!***